by Andy Villanueva
(Manhattan Beach) – After spotting Mira Costa an early 21-point lead midway through the first quarter, Downey battled to close the gap to three points before the Mustangs delivered the final blows in a 48-31 victory.
The Vikings defense stiffened up in the second quarter and the offense finally began to chip away at the large lead. The big spark that began the comeback came from Justin Huff who made an open field block to spring Daveon Vigilant for a 74 yard gain when Downey looked as though they were waiting for the Mira Costa knock out punch. Huff would score one play later from four yards out to cut into the Mustangs lead.
Huff finished the night with two touchdowns on the evening. Vigilant with one on his 16-yard run that cut the lead to 34-31.
The running back combination of Tre Searcy and Justus Tavai accounted for five touchdowns in the Mira Costa win.
*** Tavai was dominant on both sides of the ball. He sacked Raheem and recovered fumble all in the first half of the game.
*** Mira Costa did not score another touchdown during the Downey comeback until 7:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.
*** Searcy finished the night with 178 yards on the ground.
*** Jacob Silvera finished the night passing 130 yards but scored on twice.
*** With Trevor Hill injured in the Vista Murrieta game, Rafiq Raheem was installed at quarterback. After a nervous first half, he settled in and began to find receivers beginning the second half.
*** Raheem found Jalen Thompson wide open for a 55 yard play on the fist play from scrimmage in the second half for the Vikings to cut the lead to 27-17.
*** A fumble by Searcy led to Downey scoring quickly again in the third quarter as Huff accounted for one of his two touchdowns.
*** Mira Costa’s Tate Montana sealed the fate of the Vikings in the fourth quarter with his second interception of the game.
*** Downey’s Eddie Preciado was ejected midway through the second quarter on a questionable call.
*** Vikings also lost the services of Darrian Franklin in the first half.