A year ago, in the 1984 season opener, Mira Mesa quarterback DeWayne Odom started his first high school football game.
As an inexperienced junior, Odom was able to move the football but he couldn’t get his team on the scoreboard and the Marauders succumbed to Monte Vista, 3-0.
For 3 1/2 quarters in the 1985 season opener Friday night at Mira Mesa, it looked as if Odom would suffer the same fate.
Odom moved his Marauders up and down the field, but they could not score and trailed third-ranked Monte Vista, 7-0.
Finally, however, Odom got his team into the end zone. The senior threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Kevin Hancock to highlight a 27-point fourth quarter explosion that carried the fourth-ranked Marauders to a 27-14 victory.
“This one was a little special for me,” Odom said. “They beat me last year, and I wanted this one real bad.”
Trailing, 7-0, with 10 minutes left, Odom got his side moving with a 17-yard scramble and a 31-yard completion to split end Ken Jones.
At the 7:01 mark, he hit Hancock on an alley-oop pass from the six-yard line to tie the score, 7-7.
After a Monte Vista punt, Odom continued his hot passing, moving the Marauders 61 yards in four plays. He hit Hancock with an 11-yard scoring pass to take the lead.
“Coach (Brad) Griffith told us that we had the potential but that we had to keep on trying,” Odom said. “Finally, everything started to work.”
Odom finished the night with 200 yards passing on 13-of-28 completions.
Monte Vista scored on its first possession of the game, driving 51 yards in seven plays.
Fullback William James scored the touchdown on a 26-yard run up the middle on a third-and-nine play. James broke free at the line of scrimmage and outsprinted two Mira Mesa defenders to the end zone.
On the drive, quarterback Rob Tron completed three passes, including a 10-yard strike to Albert Gooyccochea that set up the touchdown.
Both teams immediately had chances to add to their scores, but neither was able to do so.
Mira Mesa drove 49 yards to the Monte Vista 20-yard line following the touchdown but was denied when Sean Bowers’ 36-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
Monte Vista then ate up nearly eight minutes of the clock on its ensuing drive. The Monarchs effectively used the full-house backfield and the running of James, Paul Howard and Melvin McFarland to move into scoring range at the Mira Mesa 29.
The Monarchs, despite the presence of All-Southern Section kicker Tom Wurth, disdained the field goal on fourth down, and Tron’s pass fell incomplete.
Mira Mesa had one last chance to tie the score before halftime, driving inside the Monte Vista 10 on a series of completions from Odom to Hancock.
Hancock’s fourth reception of the half, on a 21-yard screen play, and an ensuing 15-yard penalty gave the Marauders a first-and-goal at the Monarch 9.
After two incomplete passes and a four-yard run by Jagade Snyder, Odom was hurried by Nacho Maldanado and threw incomplete on fourth down.