Last Friday's Bay League opener between unbeaten West Torrance and league power Manhattan Beach Mira Costa was a battle between the Warriors, who played a relatively weak preseason schedule with all of its opponents having losing records, and the Mustangs, who were 3-2 with losses to two premiere CIF-Southern Section PAC Five squads in Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Los Angeles Loyola.
In the contest, Mira Costa (4-2, 1-0) had control of the first three quarters but West (5-1, 0-1) rallied for 21 unanswered points to tie the game at 21 and sent the game into overtime. On the first possession of the drive, the Mustangs scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run by running back Sebastian Franck-Love, then held off the Warriors for a thrilling 28-21 victory at Mira Costa.
Mira Costa, now ranked 10th in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division, won the game when Trevor Lewis recovered a West fumble in the end zone.
The Mustangs had command in most of the game but the Warriors, with their always effective no-huddle spread offense, came alive in the fourth period. Their first score came on a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zach Heeger to wide receiver Dale Rouse to cut Mira Costa's lead to 21-7.
After stopping the Mustangs on downs, West drove 65 yards on only four plays. A key play was Heeger completing a 53-yard bomb to running back Brett Ojiyi putting the ball at the Mira Costa 12. From there, Heeger scored from 12 yards out, cutting the Mustangs' lead to 21-14.
West, then, successfully recovered an onside kick at the Mira Costa 12 and, a few plays later, Heeger found Ojiyi from 35 yards out and a point after touchdown by Dane Silverlake tied the game at 21. Silverlake connected on all three of his extra point attempts.
Heeger completed 23 of 36 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown.
The Mustang defense was able to hold Ojiyi, who rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his five non-league games, to just 60 yards on 17 carries, but he had two catches for 88 yards and one TD.
Mira Costa took a 14-0 halftime lead behind a touchdowns by Franck-Love (21-yard run) and quarterback Greg Broskin (1-yard run). Frank-Love also scored in the third quarter.
Broskin completed 13 of 17 passes for 126 yards.
Franck-Love carried the ball 31 times for 218 yards and three TD's.
Both teams will be faced with more showdowns in one of the most highly competitive leagues in Southern California. The Mustangs will host defending CIF-Southern Section Northern Division champion Palos Verdes Friday at 7 p.m. The Sea Kings (4-2, 1-0) are coming off an easy 55-0 win over Lawndale Leuzinger (0-6, 0-1) last Friday at P.V.
The Warriors hope to even their league record at home against Redondo (5-1, 1-0) at the same time. The Sea Hawks are already off to their best start since 1997 after rallying for a 42-35 home win over Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula last Friday. Redondo is led by quarterback Harrison Faecher.
Carson holds off San Pedro: Carson and San Pedro began their highly competitive Marine League with the host Colts hanging on for a 27-21 victory over the Pirates last Friday.
Carson, which won its second consecutive game after four straight losses to highly regarded squads from the CIF-Southern and Central Sections, all but put the game away by taking a 27-14 advantage when Jabari Mingu sprinted for a 59-yard touchdown with 4:25 left in the game.
San Pedro (4-2, 0-1) cut Carson's lead to six points when Chris Alvidrez scored on a short 1-yard run, but the Colts were able to get the onside kick and run the clock out.
Carson started out in taking a 21-0 halftime lead behind TD's on a 27-yard pass from quarterback Kiki Flores to Kelvin Sadberra, another from the combination from 28 yards out and a 35-yard rumble recovery from T.J. Flowers.
The Pirates attempted to rally back and, twice, got within one touchdown, including cutting the Colts' lead to 21-14 on a 3-yard TD run by Victo Viscara.
Carson visits Washington Prep High, while San Pedro faces another steep test at home against powerful Narbonne Friday at 7 p.m.
The Generals started league play well with a 33-27 home win over Gardena, while the Gauchos, defending two-time CIF-Los Angeles City Division I champions, rolled over Banning 53-2 last Friday at home.
Faecher keys Redondo over Peninsula: Senior quarterback Harrison Faecher proved to be dominant as he rushed for 270 yards and four touchdowns to key host Redondo's football team to a come-from-behind 42-35 victory over Peninsula last Friday.
In a see-saw contest where neither team led by more than seven points, the Panthers overcame a 28-21 halftime deficit when they scored two third quarter touchdowns on a 32-yard pass from quarterback Ian Estutia to wide receiver Jason Burr and a 2-yard run by premiere junior running back Rory Hubbard, but the fourth period saw Faecher, a returning third-year starting quarterback, on runs of 12 and 35 yards. His final TD with 7:45 to go in the game proved to be the winner as Redondo's defense, which has been struggling through most of the game, were able to hold down Peninsula at the end.
"I was playing my game," Faecher said. "We didn't expect Peninsula to come out hard. In the end, we wanted it more."
The Panthers' defense also held down Faecher's passing as he threw for only 41 points, his personal low, but his effective running and a few fake handoffs helped the Sea Hawks improve to 5-1 overall with the league opening win as they prepare for a very good West Torrance squad on the road Friday at 7 p.m.
Both offenses came out big in the first half as Peninsula scored on its first drive but Faecher scored on the Sea Hawks' second play on a 74-yard keeper by Faecher with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter.
A 51-yard TD run by Hubbard, who rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, put the Panthers (3-3, 0-1) back with four minutes left in the first quarter, but Redondo tied the game on a 5-yard scoring run from senior running back Jamaal Perkins with 12 seconds remaining in the period.
The Sea Hawks took their first lead at 21-14 on a 7-yard TD run by Perkins, who ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, but Peninsula came back to tie it on a 33-yard scoring pass from Estucia to tight end Anthony Labarbera.
Redondo took a 28-21 halftime advantage with 41 seconds to play before halftime on Faecher's 6-yard TD run.
Estucia had a fine game completing 18 of 29 passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns.
The Sea Hawks will be heavily tested with what should most likely be their toughest test of the season, so far, against the very balanced Warriors, behind quarterback Zach Heeger and running back Brett Ojiyi.
Peninsula should have a break as they visit a small and inexperienced Leuzinger team Friday at 7 p.m.
Last Week's Results:
Friday, Oct. 11:
Bay League: Palos Verdes 55, Leuzinger 0; Mira Costa 28, West Torrance 21 (Overtime); Redondo 42, Peninsula 35.
Del Rey League: Bishop Montgomery 43, Bosco Tech 8; Mary Star 21, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 16.
Mission League: Serra 63, Harvard-Westlake 7.
Ocean League: Culver City 27, Hawthorne 7; Inglewood 49, Beverly Hills 0; Santa Monica 42, Morningside 6.
Pioneer League: North Torrance 28, Centennial 7; Torrance 35, South Torrance 7; El Segundo 29, Lawndale 18.
Prep League: Rio Hondo Prep 34, Chadwick 0.
Non-League: St. Bernard 28, Marquez 8.
CIF-L.A. City Section:
Marine League: Carson 27, San Pedro 21; Narbonne 53, Banning 2; Washington 33, Gardena 27.
Western League: University 23, Westchester 8.
Saturday, Oct. 12:
CIF-Southern Section, Eight-Man: Pacific Lutheran 66, Warner 0.
This Week's Schedule:
Friday, Oct. 18:
Bay League: Peninsula at Leuzinger, 7 p.m.; Palos Verdes at Mira Costa, 7 p.m.; Redondo at West Torrance, 7 p.m.
Del Rey League: Mary Star at La Salle, 7 p.m.; Verbum Dei at St. Bernard, 7 p.m.
Mission League: Chaminade at Serra, 7 p.m.
Ocean League: Inglewood at Culver City, 7 p.m.; Hawthorne vs. Morningside at Coleman Stadium, 7 p.m.
Pioneer League: Torrance at El Segundo, 7 p.m.; Lawndale at North Torrance, 7 p.m.; Centennial at South Torrance, 7 p.m.
Non-League: Firebaugh at Chadwick, 3 p.m.
Eight-Man: Upland Christian Academy vs. Pacific Lutheran at Daniels Field, San Pedro, 6 p.m.
CIF-L.A. City Section:
Marine League: Gardena at Banning, 7 p.m.; Carson at Washington, 7 p.m.; Narbonne at San Pedro, 7 p.m.
Western League: Westchester at Palisades, 7 p.m.
Snyder's Top 10: 1. Serra (6-0), 2. Narbonne (4-2), 3. Palos Verdes (4-2), 4. Mira Costa (4-2), 5. West Torrance (5-1), 6. Redondo (5-1), 7. Carson (2-4), 8. San Pedro (4-2), 9. Peninsula (3-3), 10. El Segundo (3-3).