Mustangs Win Big One, Beat Hawthorne

Mira Costa and Hawthorne players scramble for loose ball Friday night. The Mustangs ran their record to 5-0 in preparation for this Friday night’s annual backyard brawl with Redondo.

Mustangs win big one against Hawthorne

by Quentin Haigh

The Mira Costa Mustangs won yet another big game last Friday night, beating the Hawthorne Cougars 24-12 in Costa's Waller Stadium. The win improved their record to a 5-0, earning them a ranking of 23rd in the Los Angeles Times’ Top 25.

Costa Kicker Kevin Lovell maintained his perfect kicking record for the season by putting in a field goal with 9:31 left in the first quarter to give Costa the 3-0 lead. With 5:54 left in the first quarter, Hawthorne fumbled on their own 45-yard line, giving Costa the ball back. Costa upped the lead to 10-0 with 36 seconds left in the first quarter, handing the ball off to Running Back Michael Okwo for a 25-yard touchdown run up the middle.

Hawthorne came onto the field with a vengeance in the second quarter. Their quarterback scrambled for 28 yards to the Costa 2-yard line. They made good on the drive by punching it into the end zone on a quarterback sneak with 8:16 left in the second quarter. A personal foul penalty on the Cougars after the TD pushed their efforts back 15 yards, however. Now going for two, they were called for a delay of game, moving the ball back 5 more yards. Stuck on the 22-yard line and going for the two-point conversion, they came up empty handed, leaving the score at 10-6, Costa's lead.

Costa tightened their grasp on the throats of Hawthorne with an Okwo 7-yard TD run with 4:22 left in the second quarter to move the scoreboard to 17-6. A 45-yard pass to wide receiver Nick Haley for a touchdown sealed an impressive first half for the Mustangs, leaving the Cougars with a 24-6 deficit.

Some unusual occurrences greeted both teams upon beginning the second half. On the first play of the half, Hawthorne threw the ball away to Costa's Tyler Caldwell. Only 12 seconds later, however, Costa fumbled the ball on Hawthorne's 35-yard line. Hawthorne would not let this opportunity slip away, as they finally managed to convert, putting the ball into the end zone with 9:09 left in the third quarter on a 2-yard run. A big 10-yard run had created the opportunity on the down before.

With the score at 24-12, the teams fought a back and forth battle with neither able to convert. When the final buzzer sounded, the Mustangs had the victory, 24-12.

"Both sides looked really good. In my opinion. Costa looks great this year. They're really taking their time and playing great," commented former Eagles and Raider Defensive Lineman Bob Golic, an onlooker at the game. "Of course I'm partial to the defense," he joked.

"We had a good first half, but we let the game slip away offensively in the second half. We were unable to execute, and there were a lot of missed blocking assignments. Somebody would miss a block on almost every play. We cannot let that happen to us again," said Costa offensive lineman Matt Baker. ER