Mira Costa, Redondo Union footballers run to victories
by Randy Angel and Chance Keenan
Strong running games proved to be the difference for Mira Costa and Redondo as each team earned road victories in the opening week of Bay League action.
Mira Costa rebounded from two 14-point deficits to win 62-42 in a back-and-forth shootout at West where the teams scored a combined 48 points in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs struggled during the first half, trailing 14-0 and 21-7 before Raphael Lawson-Gayle scored the second of his four touchdowns on a 66-yard run that began a Mira Costa barrage of 42 straight points.
Zach Primm scored on a 20-yare pass play just before halftime to tie the game 21-21. The Mustangs carried that momentum into the second half and ran away with the game. Head coach Don Morrow attributed offensive line coach Chuck Arrasmith with making changes in the locker room that proved to be game changing.
Mira Costa quarterback Khalil McClain, back after a two-week absence as a result from a concussion, opened the second-half scoring with a 38-yard run. Although he struggled early with two turnovers during the first two possessions of the game that resulted in Warrior touchdowns, he played well at quarterback late in the game and also on defense where he had an interception to seal the win for the Mustangs.
“The coaches told me to relax, and they actually changed the blocking scheme, and they called it perfectly,” McClain said. “They might as well been on the fi
eld with strings moving the linebackers as the hole was wide open.”
Lawson-Gayle continued to be the workhorse in Mira Costa’s running attack, carrying the ball 22 times for 114 yards. The senior increased his season totals to 696 yards and 12 touchdowns on 93 carries.
Junior running back Brandon Mills rushed eight times for 126 yards including touchdown runs of 69 and 32 yards in the final quarter.
Defensive back Dylan Chen had two interceptions during a game that featured two of the most efficient offensive teams in the South Bay.
Morrow stressed that his team is taking it one game at a time with “Win the Bay League, tonight” serving as his team’s mantra each Friday for the remainder of the regular season.
The win over previously third-ranked West moved Mira Costa (4-2, 1-0) in the fourth spot in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division. West dropped to No. 6. The Mustangs will travel to take on Palos Verdes Friday in a 3 p.m. contest.
Palos Verdes (2-3, 1-0) is coming of a 61-0 rout of host Leuzinger. Sea King quarterback Bryan Scott tossed three touchdown passes and running back Matt Lopes ran for another three behind an offensive line led by All-CIF tackle Andrew Bucklin (6-3, 275).
Wide receiver Dean Alessi is Scott’s favorite target in the Sea King’s aerial assault.
Redondo hosts West
It wasn’t a pretty win, but first-year head coach Matt Ballard will take Redondo’s 21-3 victory over host Peninsula nevertheless.
The Sea Hawks forced five turnovers, gained 286 yards on the ground and overcame their own mistakes to give Ballard his first Bay League win.
Running back Anthony Philyaw turned in another strong performance for Redondo, carrying the ball 20 times for 131 yards. The senior has gained 794 yards on 115 carries in five games this season.
Jamaal Perkins carried the ball eight times for 56 yards and a 4-yard touchdown, Julian Harrison added 44 yards and a 3-yard touchdown on five carries and Freddie Smith rushed five times for 33 yards.
Smith opened the scoring for Redondo, returning an interception 23 yards for a first-quarter touchdown and a lead the Sea Hawks would never relinquish.
Quarterback Harrison Faecher connected on eight of his 18 passes for 120 yards, completing seven for 116 yards in the first half.
The Redondo coaching staff selected Philyaw as the team’s Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Game. Senior linebacker Marcus Martinez was named the Defensive Player of the Game while Scout/Practice Player of the Week honors went to junior running back Jonathan Allagoa.
Redondo (3-3, 1-0) celebrates its Homecoming by hosting West (5-1, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. Sea Hawk alumni are invited to the Mix on the Bricks, an all-class mixer prior to the game. Discount tickets for the game are available. Visit RUHSAlumni.org for details.
West fields a highly explosive offensive attack led by quarterback Joey Notch, who was 21-of-39 for 256 yards and four touchdowns in the Warrior’s loss to Mira Costa. Notch has thrown for 1,543 yards and 16 touchdowns this season but has also thrown 10 interceptions.
Wide receiver Dane Silverlake and tight end Mat Boesen are favorite targets of Notch.
Barry Thomas is one of the area’s leading rushers, amassing 879 yards and 16 touchdowns on 116 carries this season.