With two weeks to mull over its lopsided loss at Notre Dame, head coach Don Morrow’s Mira Costa team rebounded in a big way.
The Mustangs (1-1) ran over host Downey 36-15 for their initial win of the young season after holding onto a two-touchdown lead at halftime and playing through 11 penalties in the game.
Downey entered the game ranked third in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division.
Senior running back Sebastian Franck-Love led the Mustang’s offensive attack gaining 189 yards while scoring three touchdowns. He also had a 37-yard touchdown run called back because of a holding call.
Mira Costa opened the scoring when quarterback Greg Briskin hit Brandon Mills coming out of the backfield for a 35-yard touchdown. Briskin and sophomore Jacob Silvera shared time in the first half with Briskin playing the second half.
Franck-Love scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 5-yard run in the second quarter and Casey Sublette added a field goal in the third quarter to give Mira Costa a 17-0 lead.
The Mustang’s lead was jeopardized when Downey quarterback Jorge Reyna, who had sit out the first half, rallied the Centaurs by pulling the home team to within a touchdown with a 16-yard pass to close the gap to 23-15. Reyna passed for 147 yards in the second half.
Mira Costa’s ground game took over, running time off the clock with drives culminated by a 14-yard scoring run by Tre Searcy and Franck-Love’s 60-yard scamper for a touchdown.
Mira Costa returns to Waller Stadium Friday when the Mustangs play their first home game of the season against South Torrance. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Morrow, who is in his 21st year as head coach at Mira Costa, was the head coach at South before taking over the reins of the Mustang program.
South (0-2) is coming off a 41-33 road loss to Rosemead and is led by running back Bailey Bjazevich (5-11, 160) who rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries in the season opener against Carpinteria.
Quarterback Anthony Peters (5-6, 170) is a former wide receiver who is trying to find his comfort zone in the Spartans’ passing attack. He did, however, run for 109 yards on 25 attempts against Carpinteria.
South’s offensive line is led by seniors Mark Saleh (6-0, 220) and Mitchell Taylor (6-11, 295) and the defense is anchored Saleh, Taylor and linebackers Kevin (5-10, 175) and Travis Heinemann (5-10, 170).