Defensive Stand Helps Mira Costa Win Thriller

Stunning. That's the only word that does justice to the way the game between Mira Costa and Leuzinger ended Friday night. Three cracks from inside the three-yard line for Leuzinger's double wing-T offense produced two yards, two feet and 11 inches. When the gun sounded, the Olympians, one inch from victory, had lost 27-24.

Leuzinger's failure to score in the waning seconds wasn't the only stunning development in a remarkable second half that began with Leuzinger leading 16-14. Just three minutes earlier, Mira Costa faced a fourth and four from its own 29-yard line, clinging to a three-point lead. Rather than punt the ball away, the Mustangs inexplicably went for it. Pete Dobush's pass was complete but for little gain and Leuzinger took over inside Costa's 30-yard line, setting up the game's final dramatic moments.

Mira Costa (4-0)had surged ahead 20-16 with a long drive to open the second half. Michael Okwo capped the march with a 29-yard scoring run.

After a Leuzinger fumble, Mira Costa appeared ready to salt the game away but could not convert with a first and goal from the Olympian two-yard line. Rather than sneak the ball from the four-inch line on third and goal, or hand the ball to the bruising Okwo, the Mustangs attempted a pitch, which was fumbled. Leuzinger recovered at its 20-yard line and, one play later, broke a back free for a long gain deep into Costa territory. The Mustang defense stiffened, however, and Costa took over after a fourth-down run was well short.

Early in the fourth quarter, Dobush found tight end Devin Adair on a 29-yard scoring strike that made it 27-16 Mustangs with 9:30 remaining. That's when the head scratching decision making began, culminating in the unforgettable finish.

Golden State Preps Top Stories