Mira Costa heads into the first week of Bay League competition on a winning note after the Mustangs defeated host Newport Harbor 33-21 in the team’s final non-league game.
Trailing 21-13, Coach Don Morrow’s Mira Costa squad scored the game’s final 20 points in the last 14 minutes to improve its record at 3-2.
After Tre Searcy pulled Mira Costa to within 21-20 with a 40 yard touchdown run with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter, running back Sebastian Franck-Love gave Mira Costa the lead with just over four minutes left in the game, scoring on a fourth-and-goal run from the 1-yard line.
Mustang defensive lineman Khalil Sonko’s stop of Newport Harbor’s Cole Norris on fourth-and-1 at the Sailor’s 42 yard line gave the ball back to Mira Costa which wasted no time in sealing the victory.
Franck-Love scored his third touchdown of the game with a 42-yard run on the Mustang’s first play of the drive.
The senior rushed for 194 yards on 33 carries for his fifth consecutive 100-yard game giving him 937 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Franck-Love’s performance set up a showdown between two of the top running backs in the area when Mira Costa celebrates its Homecoming by hosting West Torrance (5-0), the second-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division, on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Warriors are led by Brett Ojiyi who also has rushed for 100 yards or more in each game this season. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound running back ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries in West’s 35-6 win over North Torrance Friday evening.
The junior also had four receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown against the Saxons. Ojiyi has rushed for 708 and 16 touchdowns on 90 carries in West’s first five games.
With four of five games on the road, Mira Costa arguably had the most difficult non-league season of any Bay League team. The Mustangs faced PAC-5 Division powerhouses Notre Dame and Loyola, Downey (No. 4, Southeast Division) and Newport Harbor (No. 9, Southwest Division).
West’s victories came against Culver City (No. 10, Western Division), Torrance, El Segundo, South Torrance and North Torrance.
Quarterback Zach Haeger (5-10, 170) runs the Warrior’s offense and has a talented wide receiver in Dane Silverlake (5-11, 165).
Ojiyi runs behind a line led by Ray Lima (6-3, 250) and J.J. Allen (6-3, 260). West has a strong linebacking corps including Jim Girandini (6-0, 200), Joey Girandini (5-11, 170) and Melvin Guerrero (6-3, 200).
Homecoming for Redondo
Redondo (4-1) hosts Peninsula (3-2) Friday at 7 p.m. when the Sea Hawks celebrate their Homecoming Game after utilizing a bye week to prepare for their Bay League opener.
Peninsula already has more wins than all of last year defeating South Torrance 31-7 on Friday. Panther quarterback Ian Escutia (6-0, 175) threw two touchdown passes to Jason Burr and ran for another in the win.
Running back Ryan Augello (5-10, 185) is also one of Peninsula’s leading receivers coming out of the backfield.
Tight end/defensive lineman Anthony Labarbera (6-4, 235) can be a game-changer on both sides of the ball while defensive back Steven Smith and linebacker Shane Scott are the team’s leading tacklers
Earlier this season, Peninsula routed North Torrance 51-0 at home, lost to visiting Culver City 41-27, beat host Torrance 25-22 and lost to Lawndale 32-24.
Redondo and Peninsula faced one common opponent, Culver City, in non-league action. Redondo defeated the Centaurs on the road 28-14.
Prior to Friday’s contest, the Redondo Union High School Alumni will be holding its “Mix on the Bricks” event from 5-6:30 p.m. on Alumni Walk in the center of the campus. For more information, visit RUHSAlumni.org.