Advertisement
Share

Costa Mesa football stunned by Calvary Chapel in Orange Coast League opener

Costa Mesa's Garrett Richards throws under pressure from Calvary Chapel's Richie Hanley during an Orange Coast League game.
Costa Mesa’s Garrett Richards throws under pressure from Calvary Chapel’s Richie Hanley during an Orange Coast League game at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

With under two minutes remaining in the Orange Coast League football opener, Calvary Chapel coach Jack McInally turned to his defense and told them to let the opposition score.

Given the option between a goal-line stand leading to a field-goal attempt with no time on the clock and a few extra plays for his offense, McInally felt it was a gamble worth taking.

Costa Mesa went up by a touchdown, but seven plays later, McInally got the result he had hoped for, as the Eagles stunned the visiting Mustangs with the go-ahead score and two-point conversion with 12 seconds left.

Sophomore quarterback Matthew Peters rushed for 295 yards, four touchdowns, and the game-winning two-point conversion, leading Calvary Chapel to a 38-37 victory over Costa Mesa Thursday night at Segerstrom High.

Calvary Chapel's Matthew Peters runs the ball up field during an Orange Coast League game against Costa Mesa on Thursday.
Calvary Chapel’s Matthew Peters runs the ball up field during an Orange Coast League game against Costa Mesa at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“We wanted to be able to give Matt the chance to win us the game instead of trying to get a goal-line stand,” McInally said. “[The Mustangs] have a really good kicker, and I just knew that if we got the ball back, we were going for two and that was going to win it for us.”

Calvary Chapel (2-3) used a seven-play, 67-yard drive that took just 80 seconds to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Peters completed three passes on the possession — two for a total of 24 yards to Charles Sparks and one to Robbie Thomas for 13 yards and another first down at the Costa Mesa 25.

It was by far the most the Eagles had looked to pass on the evening, but they reverted back to the ground near the goal line. Sparks reached the end zone from 4 yards out for his first touchdown of the season. Then Calvary Chapel opted to put the game on the line with a two-point try.

McInally may have said it best, “Everybody in the stadium knew it was going to Matt Peters.”

Costa Mesa's Garrett Richards hands the ball off to Lalimo Bijanjan against Calvary Chapel at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
Costa Mesa’s Garrett Richards hands the ball off to Lalimo Bijanjan during an Orange Coast League game against Calvary Chapel at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Peters, playing in his first league game and coming off three consecutive losses to Capistrano Valley Christian, Bellflower and Beckman, dealt with nerves preceding the decisive play.

“It was crazy, the amount of joy,” Peters said after extending the ball across the goal line near the left pylon, setting off a raucous celebration on the Eagles’ sideline. “… It was a minute, 30 [seconds], we had to come down and score. I knew if we were scoring, we were going for two.

“We scored, and going for two within my head, so scary. I almost had a heart attack.”

Garrett Richards came out slinging the ball all over the yard for Costa Mesa (2-3), amassing 187 yards and two passing touchdowns before the break. His 11-yard scoring strike to Marley Boynton at the end of the first quarter established a 16-7 lead, the largest of the game for the Mustangs.

Costa Mesa's Marley Boynton catches a ball over the outstretched arms of Calvary Chapel's Robbie Thomas on Thursday.
Costa Mesa’s Marley Boynton catches a ball over the outstretched arms of Calvary Chapel’s Robbie Thomas during an Orange Coast League game at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Calvary Chapel knotted the score at 22-22 going into halftime, courtesy of Peters’ third rushing touchdown. His first carry of the evening had been a sign of things to come, as he broke loose for his longest gain in the form of a 64-yard score.

Unable to repeat his first-half success in the passing game, Richards put his body on the line late, twice giving his team the lead with short-yardage rushing touchdowns in the second half.

“I’m extremely proud of Garrett,” Costa Mesa coach Gary Gonzalez said. “Garrett had a lot to prove tonight, and he definitely showed up. Garrett is one of our senior leaders, and when he gets going, our team gets going. Tonight, we got going offensively, we got going a little bit, and we felt like we can do anything to them offensively.”

Costa Mesa's Edward Franco carries the ball up field against Calvary Chapel at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
Costa Mesa’s Edward Franco carries the ball up field during an Orange Coast League game against Calvary Chapel at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Brett McDonough had two catches for 53 yards and a touchdown for Costa Mesa, and he added an interception on defense. David Calix and Jafta Howerton also recovered a pair of fumbled exchanges in the Calvary Chapel backfield.

Riley Weinstein led the Mustangs with 84 receiving yards, while Edward Franco’s 72 rushing yards paced Costa Mesa on the ground.

Costa Mesa, which enters a bye week before playing host to Saddleback on Sept. 30, has had its last four games decided by a combined seven points.

“It’s definitely stressful,” Gonzalez said. “But it’s exciting football that we’re giving our fans, and it’s exciting football that our kids are being a part of. The experience of them doing this and going through these types of games, especially our lower levels, they’re really going to benefit from this.”

Calvary Chapel's Luke Huffman celebrates after making a reception during an Orange Coast League game against Costa Mesa.
Calvary Chapel’s Luke Huffman celebrates after making a reception during an Orange Coast League game against Costa Mesa at Segerstrom High on Thursday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Orange Coast League

Calvary Chapel 38, Costa Mesa 37

Costa Mesa 16 – 6 – 8 – 7 — 37

Calvary Chapel 7 – 15 – 0 – 16 — 38

FIRST QUARTER

CM — Smithlin 28 FG, 8:24.

CC — Peters 64 run (Berbari kick), 7:27.

CM — Richards 7 run (Smithlin kick blocked by Castrejon), 5:27.

CM — Boynton 11 pass from Richards (Smithlin kick), 0:21.

SECOND QUARTER

CC — Peters 6 run (Berbari kick), 9:39.

CM — McDonough 47 pass from Richards (Smithlin kick failed), 2:35.

CC — Peters 2 run (Sparks pass from Peters), 0:06.

THIRD QUARTER

CM — Richards 3 run (Zarate fumble recovery), 0:43.

FOURTH QUARTER

CC — Peters 10 run (Ghahyasi pass from Peters), 6:55.

CM — Richards 1 run (Smithlin kick), 1:32.

CC — Sparks 4 run (Peters run), 0:12.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING

CM — Franco, 18-72; Richards, 9-34, 3 TDs.

CC — Peters, 28-295, 4 TDs; Sparks, 5-19, 1 TD.

INDIVIDUAL PASSING

CM — Richards, 11-26-0, 207, 2 TDs.

CC — Peters, 14-19-1, 101.

INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING

CM — Weinstein, 3-84; McDonough, 2-53, 1 TD; Boynton, 2-40, 1 TD.

CC — Sparks, 5-32; Ghahyasi, 6-28.

Support our sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.

For more sports stories, visit latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/sports or follow us on Twitter @DailyPilotSport.


Advertisement