Mira Costa, Redondo set for local rivalry games on the gridiron
By Randy Angel
Their cities border each other and each team has enjoyed many successful seasons, so it’s only natural that the Mira Costa-El Segundo and Redondo-West Torrance football games have become two of the most anticipated non-league contests in the South Bay.
Redondo head coach Matt Ballard and his counterpart Greg Holt of West have had their players train together in past offseasons and, with the campuses in such close proximity to each other, Ballard has had his Sea Hawks walk down Del Amo Boulevard when playing on the road.
Redondo (1-2) will make the short journey Friday when West (1-1) hosts its former Bay League rival in a 7 p.m. game.
Redondo won its first game of the season Friday, routing visiting Westchester 49-12 behind another strong performance by quarterback Jack Alexander.
The senior connected on 16 of 20 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns and also ran the ball seven times for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Alexander is averaging 215 yards and 99 yards rushing per game this season.
His favorite target was senior receiver Alexander Saak who hauled in six passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns.
While Redondo’s offense was enjoying a breakout night, it was the Sea Hawk defense that made a statement.
Despite his two touchdowns, Westchester’s Estabon Bozeman was kept in check by Redondo. Bozeman, who was averaging 113.5 yards rushing per game, gave the Comets an early lead with a 96-yard kickoff return at the beginning of the game, but was limited to 94 rushing yards, most coming early in the fourth quarter on a 71-yard touchdown run.
“It felt great to get in the win column,” Ballard stated. “Our offense was very effective, spreading the ball around, with five different Sea Hawks earning touchdowns. Our defense played with great effort once again; flying around the field and getting all 11 players to the ball. With six sophomores playing at any given time, these young players are coming along, and buying into the Brotherhood.”
Senior defensive tackle Jeffrey Leiato was selected Defensive Player of the Game, sophomore Dylan Juarez was Special Teams Player of the Game and junior running back/defensive back DeMarcus Johnson earned Scout “Eager Beaver” Player of the Week honors.
In this week’s contest, Redondo will face a West team that is coming off a 45-0 blowout of host Eastlake. The Warriors will be looking to avenge their 58-27 loss at Redondo last year.
West running back Gus Eckert is off to a fast start, gaining 151 yards and three touchdowns in the first half during the Warrior’s 58-27 season-opening loss at Culver City. His effort was overshadowed, however, by Culver City quarterback Jonathan Martin was passed for 516 yards and five touchdowns in the win.
Costa looks for revenge
Mira Costa is seeking its first win of the season by avenging its 18-14 home loss to El Segundo in 2016. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Friday at El Segundo High School.
“We’re expecting a tough game at El Segundo,” Mira Costa Head Coach Don Morrow said. “They have a great coaching staff and their kids do a fine job. They have had great success over the last several years.”
The Mustangs are coming off a hard-fought 21-6 loss at La Serna holding the Lancers scoreless in the second half after the hosts jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead.
Mira Costa running back Malachi McMahon scored the mustang’s lone touchdown on a 3-yard run in the third quarter. The junior finished the game with 124 yards on 16 carries.
“We are playing hard but making a lot of mistakes including too many turnovers last week and big plays given up in our first game at St Francis.” Morrow said. “Both our first two opponents were tough and I would put El Segundo right up there with them.”
Mira Costa (0-2) entered the game ranked No. 8 in CIF-SS Division 6 while El Segundo (2-0) held the No. 7 spot in Division 7.
El Segundo defeated host Leuzinger 35-18 in its season opener before easily defeating visiting Oak Park 35-3 on Friday.
The Eagle offense is led by junior quarterback Matt Romero who passed for 166 yards and two touchdowns against Leuzinger.
Multi-talented two-way starter Danny McEntee is a force on both sides of the ball. The senior scored two touchdowns in El Segundo’s first game with a reception and punt return.