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.