Bay League action began Friday and the marquee game lived up to its billing.
In a game shown live on FOX Sports Prime Ticket, Mira Costa’s running attack proved too much for West Torrance but it took overtime before the Mustangs could finalize the win before its Homecoming crowd.
Coach Don Morrow’s Mira Costa squad escaped with the 28-21 win after West scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to tie the score, but Sebastian Franck-Love’s 12-yard touchdown run in overtime proved the difference in the game.
West entered the game ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division, but the loss dropped the Warriors into the No. 8 spot. Mira Costa moved up into No. 10.
After West trimmed its deficit to 21-14 with 1 minute remaining in regulation, the Warrior’s Jimmie Girardini recovered an onside kick at Mira Costa’s 48-yard line.
A 38-yard pass play to Ojiyi set up a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Zach Heeger to pull West to within one point.
Then the chess match began between two coaches who know each other all too well. Morrow is serving his 21st year as head coach at Mira Costa while West’s Greg Holt is in his 20th season at the helm of the Warrior’s program.
West lined up for a possible game-winning 2-point conversion but Morrow called a timeout. The Warriors once again line up in the shotgun formation, but Holt didn’t like what he saw with the Mustang defense and he called time out. The decision was made to go for the extra-point kick which was good by Dane Silverlake sending the game into overtime.
Starting from the West 25-yard line, Mira Costa drove for the touchdown on 12-yard and 12-yard runs by Franck-Love. Casey Sublette’s extra point gave the Mustangs a seven point lead.
Mira Costa’s defense held West before Heeger connected with Dale Rouse for a 15-yard first down completion on fourth-and-6.
On fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Ojiyi was met by the Mira Costa defense near the goal line but the ball popped out and West’s Trevor Lewis recovered it in the end zone. The officials, however, ruled that Ojiyi had illegally tossed the ball forward and the Mustangs began their celebration.
Mira Costa jumped out to an early lead in the game when Franck-Love capped off the Mustang’s opening drive with a 21-yard touchdown run.
After quarterback Greg Briskin connected with Harrison Morrow on a 22-yard pass play, Briskin put Mira Costa ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter with a 1-yard sneak.
Mira Costa’s defense was dominant in the first half, limiting West to only 22 yards rushing and 62 yards passing while forcing five punts and forcing one interception.
The game featured two of the area’s top running backs in Franck-Love and West’s Brett Ojiyi, with Franck-Love coming out on top. Franck-Love rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries while Mira Costa’s defense held Ojiyi to 60 yards on 17 carries snapping the junior’s consecutive 100-yard game mark at five.
Franck-Love has rushed for 100 or more yards in each of Mira Costa’s six games this season and helped the Mustangs avenge a 49-42 loss to the Warriors in last year’s CIF quarterfinals.
Briskin was 13 of 17 for 126 yards to help keep West off balance. Heeger connected on 23 of 36 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown.
It doesn’t get an easier for Mira Costa (4-2, 1-0) when the Mustangs host defending CIF Northern Division champion Palos Verdes (4-2, 1-0) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Palos Verdes is ranked No. 2 in the division and is coming off a 55-0 rout over visiting Leuzinger.
Sea King quarterback Daniel DiRocco was 6-of-8 passing for 68 yards and three touchdowns last week, giving him 540 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. His favorite target is Lance Brown.
Running back Tyler Moore has gained 610 yards and 10 touchdowns on 84 carries this season.
On defense, Philip Bernard, Lucas Cooper and Hiro Yamamoto are Palos Verdes’ leading tacklers. Roberto Ceja and Connor Markley had recorded three sacks apiece entering the Leuzinger game.