In what some considered to be a rebuilding year at the beginning of the season, defending Bay League and CIF Southern Section Northern Division football champion Palos Verdes proved the job is done, throttling host Mira Costa 35-0 in a key league game Friday.
The win moved Palos Verdes into sole possession of first place in the competitive Bay League. The Sea Kings entered the game ranked No. 2 in the Northern Division while Mira Costa had moved into the No. 10 spot.
Palos Verdes kept Mira Costa’s running game in check in what was a defensive struggle until late in the third quarter. The Sea Kings held a 7-0 lead at halftime, but with 1:37 left in the third quarter, Stanton Gilbertson returned a Mira Costa punt 65 yards to give Palos Verdes a 14-0 lead and the first of four touchdowns on consecutive possessions.
PV snapped Sebastian Franck-Love’s streaks of three consecutive 200-plus yard games and five straight 100-plus yard games. Franck-Love finished with 16 carries for 86 yards. Mira Costa had just 94 yards rushing and 41 yards passing.
Despite a size advantage, Mira Costa was limited to 94 yards rushing and 41 yards passing. Senior running back Sebastian Franck-Love, who has been the workhorse for the Mustangs this season, had his streak of five consecutive 100-plus yard rushing games snapped. Going into the game, Franck-Love had run for more than 200 yards in three straight games.
Combined with a stellar defensive performance that gave Palos Verdes good field position most of the night, the Sea Kings’ special teams and balanced offense provided the road victory.
Palos Verdes quarterback Dan DiRocco connected on 9 of 13 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns and Gilbertson rushed for 81 yards on only four carries. Tyler Moore added 42 yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts and DiRocco ran for 48 yards on seven carries.
Mira Costa (4-3, 1-1) travels to Peninsula (4-3, 1-1) for a 3 p.m. game Friday. Palos Verdes (5-2, 2-0) plays at West Torrance (6-1, 1-1) in a rematch of last season’s Northern Division championship game.
Peninsula routed Leuzinger 38-0 after suffering a 42-35 loss at Redondo Union the previous week.