Mira Costa’s drubbing of Peninsula came as little surprise Friday afternoon, but the manner in which the Mustangs gained the 42-6 victory was unexpected.
Known for its hard-nosed running game, Mira Costa stunned Peninsula and its Homecoming crowd by passing the ball on 10 of its first 12 plays. Six of the completions were to receiver Harrison Morrow, whose 19-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter gave the Mustangs a 14-0 lead and they never looked back.
Morrow is making the most of his senior season finishing the game with nine receptions for 129 yards.
Provided with plenty of protection from his offensive line, Mustang quarterback Greg Briskin connected on 16 of 20 passes for 190 yards on the day. He also ran for 28 yards on five carries and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 14-yard run.
“It was good for our quarterback to get the confidence he can throw the ball and good for our offensive line to show that we can go out there and protect him, something that we haven’t done much this year.,” Mira Costa all-league lineman Joe Anderson said. “We worked really hard on it in practice this week and I think it showed out on the field today. We’re focused on getting better each week.”
Mira Costa led 35-0 late in the first half when their bid for a shutout was spoiled when Rory Hubbard returned a kickoff 89 yards for Peninsula’s lone score with 2.4 seconds remaining.
Although Mira Costa running back Sebastian Franck-Love was prevented from reaching the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive week, the senior made the most of his eight carries gaining 68 yards and two touchdowns bringing his total to 13 this season.
Brandon Mills also scored two touchdowns on the ground before many non-starters saw action for most of the second half as the Mustangs ran out the clock.
“We expected to dominate,” Franck-Love said. “After last week (a 35-0 loss to Palos Verdes) we wanted to come out and bounce back. We’re looking pretty good right now and can’t wait for the rest of the season.”
Mira Costa’s defense held Peninsula to 122 yards and snapped Hubbard’s five-game streak of 100-yard games, limiting the junior to 53 yards on 13 carries.
The Mustangs prevented the Panthers from getting back in the game, forcing two turnovers in the second quarter. Jahlani Tavai recovered a fumble and linebacker Dane Largent had his first interception of the season.
“It felt pretty good getting that first one,” Largent said. “The game went pretty much like we expected.”
Mira Costa (5-3, 2-1) is anticipating its game with rival Redondo Union in two weeks, but can’t afford to become complacent when the Mustangs travel to face winless Leuzinger (0-8, 0-3) in a 7 p.m. game on Friday.
“Our one goal is to come out and do the best we possibly can,” Largent said. “This week we’ll have a lot of competition days in practice. It helps keep our morale up and our teamwork focused so we don’t take it easy.”
Leuzinger is coming off a 49-0 loss at Redondo and has been outscored 386-30 this season.
Peninsula dropped to 1-2 in league and 4-4 overall and will host West Torrance (6-2, 1-2) Friday afternoon. The Warriors fell to first-place Palos Verdes 34-7 who will host Redondo.