Two-Minute Drill: Mesa keeps rolling

Mustangs become confident with key players returning from injuries and improving late in the season.

November 12, 2013


•Heading into the crucial, final two weeks of the Orange Coast League season, Costa Mesa High Coach Wally Grant saw something in his defense that had been building since injuries took their toll on the Mustangs earlier in the season.

With the return of several key starters to the fold, the Costa Mesa defense played a key role in recent games against Calvary Chapel and Laguna Beach.


Those two game performances, both important victories, helped the Mustangs close out a 5-0 league season that ended with a league championship.

"As we got down to those last two weeks, we were a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, and a little bit stronger," Grant said. "Injuries early on took us out of sync but with our players now healthy, our defense has really taken shape.

"From Week 4 on, we really have played some pretty good football. Our offense has been scoring some points in league but I really feel our defense has done a great job."

•In Friday's 56-30 title-clinching win at Laguna Beach, last year's OCL champion, the Mustangs bolted to a 28-0 lead with less than three minutes gone in the second quarter. During that scoring run, the defense came up big.

Leading 7-0, Costa Mesa got the ball back on a strip by outside linebacker Quinton Bell that led to a fumble recovery by defensive end Edgar Molina. The play set up the offense, which scored two plays later to increase the lead to 14-0 with 4:33 left in the opening quarter.

After taking a two-touchdown lead, the Mustangs defense held a potent and high-scoring Laguna offense — the Breakers came into the game averaging nearly 38 points (37.7) per game, to a pair of three-and-out series on consecutive possessions late in the quarter.

During those two series, Laguna managed only 15 yards of offense.

The Breakers scored their final two touchdowns, and added two-point conversions after both scores, in the final 10:39 of the game to make the final 56-30.

The game went to a running clock in the fourth quarter.

"Both Calvary and Laguna have explosive offenses, and our goal Friday, was to make them take eight or nine plays to score," Grant said. "I thought we did a good job, in that regard. Our guys came in ready to play at Laguna who, on their part, competed hard and I know they didn't have their full compliment of weapons for the game. That's how we were earlier in the season.

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