Mira Costa uses late rally to defeat St. Francis; Redondo seeks first win
by Randy Angel
After building an 18-point lead in the second half, Mira Costa’s football team rallied to score a late touchdown to defeat St. Francis in the season opener for both squads.
The 27-22 victory was a plus for coach Don Morrow’s Mustangs (No. 5, Div. 6) who beat a St. Francis team that had begun the last 10 years with a victory, and had won 10 consecutive non-league games.
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After St. Francis’ Kevin Armstead ran for a 5-yard touchdown to give the visitors a 22-21 lead (the 2-point conversion failed) late in the fourth quarter, Mira Costa drove 80 yards on 11 plays with senior quarterback Nick Carpino scoring on a 7-yard run to give the Mustangs the win. Mira Costa’s 2-point conversion also failed.
Carpino was 11 for 24 passing for 160 yards and one touchdown, a 14-yard pass to Eddie Burga-Donovan in the first quarter. Carpino also rushed 10 times for 39 yards and one touchdown.
Mira Costa quarterback Reed Vabrey scored on a 1-yard run to give the Mustangs a 14-3 lead at halftime.
Mira Costa remains home when it hosts La Serna Friday at 7 p.m. The Lancers enter the non-league game with a 2-0 record after routing Thousand Oaks 43-14 and Troy 49-26.
Redondo falls again
Redondo looks to rebound this week when the Sea Hawks travel to take on another winless, yet talented, Sierra Canyon team.
Redondo is coming off a 57-14 loss to Villa Park (No. 5, Div. 4) while Sierra Canyon has lost close games to Westlake 35-30 and a highly-talented Lawndale team 25-22 last week.
“We play a highly touted Sierra Canyon team that is hungry for their first win too,” Redondo head coach Matt Ballard said. “We travel to California Lutheran University next Friday, and get a crack at the team that lumped us up last year 38-3. Football is distinctive in teaching life lessons because it affords these unique situations, and we look forward to this opportunity.
Last Friday, Redondo kept Villa Park in check during the first half, trailing 22-14 before the Spartans took control and shut out the Sea Hawks during the second half.
“Although the score doesn’t reflect it, we were, and could have remained, very much in this football game,” Ballard said. “Villa Park is a very good and well coached football team, so the outcome may have been the same regardless, but we know we could have consistently battled better.
“A twist on Oliver Hazard Perry’s quote after a naval battle described us well: ‘We have seen the enemy, and he is us.’ Yes, we are a young team and many of our issues can be attributed to inexperience. However, the reality is that we are currently a better football team than we have often shown.”
Redondo Players of the Week included junior fullback Lance Brugma (Offense), senior defensive tackle DJ Wingfield (Defense), sophomore Camden Sten (Special Teams) and junior lineman Jacob Nash (Scout “Eager Beaver”).