*Costa Mesa takes its high-scoring act to the Battle for the Bell.

If the Mustangs want to be the first to ring it, they have to get past rival Estancia, owner of the Bell.

The way the Mustangs are scoring points, they might beat the Eagles to it.

The Battle for the Bell this Friday at Jim Scott Stadium at 7 p.m. is the Battle for the Orange Coast League title. The winner claims the city title and league title.

The Mustangs put themselves in position to claim their first outright league title in three years after winning a shootout at Laguna Beach, 63-47, last Friday. Costa Mesa produced the second-highest point total in the program's history.

The Mustangs (8-1, 4-0 in league) are averaging almost seven touchdowns per game. That was Mario Smith's production last week, when the senior running back rushed for seven touchdowns, along with 359 yards, both career bests.

No team has scored more than 30 points on defending league champion Estancia (7-2, 4-0) this season. The Eagles are allowing 12 points per game.

Estancia is trying to finish undefeated in league for the second straight year, a first for the program.

Estancia leads the series against Costa Mesa, 25-18-1.


*Smith's 359 yards and seven touchdowns on 30 carries caught the attention of ESPN.

Smith is the ESPNHS High School Cal-Hi Sports Athlete of the Week after running wild on Laguna Beach.

The seven touchdowns on the ground are a Costa Mesa school record. Smith was one rushing touchdown away from tying the Orange County record set by Bolsa Grande's Andrew Niumata in 1998.

Only once did the defense stop Smith for no gain. The rest went for positive yards, including touchdown runs of 31, 3, 12, 4, 37, 1 and 49 yards.

In the first half, Smith gained 180 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries.

Smith needed half the workload to finish one yard and one touchdown short of matching his yards and touchdown totals from the first half.

Smith needed 56 yards to break Costa Mesa's single-game rushing record of 414 yards set by Charles Chatman in 1994.


*Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach combined for 110 points, 16 touchdowns and 1,314 yards.



*Estancia High junior defensive tackle Kevin Peters had his William "The Refrigerator" Perry moment in the Eagles' 40-0 Orange Coast League home win over Calvary Chapel.

Peters, listed at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, has lined up at blocking back in a Power-I formation next to his older brother Alipa Peters, a fellow defensive tackle who is 6-3, 275 pounds, in several short-yardage situations. Typically the pair of Peters bulldoze a hole for junior tailback Robert Murtha.

But on fourth-and-two at the Calvary 14-yard line with time running down in the first quarter, quarterback Brad Wilson turned and handed the ball to Kevin Peters on a dive play.

The lineman powered his way into the end zone for the first touchdown of his football career to help Estancia up its lead to 21-0.

"We've had that play sitting for us for a while," Wilson said. "Once [Kevin Peters] gets going, I'd be scared to try to take him down."


*Wilson had a touchdown run of his own on the Eagles' first offensive play. He rolled to his right, before tucking the ball and scrambling across the line of scrimmage. He cut back all the way across the field and outran the pursuit for a 55-yard scoring play.

Wilson later threw for three touchdowns, completing four of five passes for 79 yards.

But he also finished with 66 rushing yards on three attempts to earn some good-natured praise from his coach.

"I tell him he runs out of fear," Estancia head man Mike Bargas said with a smile. "So, when he's got a guy chasing him, he tends to turn up his [40-yard dash] time."


*Murtha amassed 158 yards on 20 carries and now has 3,011 career rushing yards in his two varsity seasons.

Murtha, who has a chance to surpass the Newport-Mesa career rushing record of 4,333 yards established by former Costa Mesa star Binh "Runaway" Tran in the early 1990s, said he was surprised to learn after the game that he had eclipsed the 3,000 mark.

"I've heard of Tran, but I didn't know I was even close to 3,000," Murtha said.



*Corona del Mar gets a shot at revenge this week.

The Sea Kings set up a Pacific Coast League showdown with Beckman after easily getting past University, 49-21, last Thursday at Irvine High.

The No. 1- and No. 2-ranked teams in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division play for the outright league crown Friday at Davidson Field at 7 p.m. Both CdM and Beckman head into the league finale at 4-0.

The Sea Kings are not only trying to become the first CdM team to win two straight league titles without losing a league contest during the stretch. They also want get back at the Patriots for last year.

The Sea Kings edged Beckman, 17-15, last year in league play, but Beckman knocked off CdM, 24-3, in the semifinals of the playoffs to reach the school's first section title game in its history.

The Sea Kings fell short in the semis for the second time since 2008.

"It's going to be huge," said Scott Meyer, who's in his first year at CdM.


Josh Giger has turned into quarterback Brent Lawson's favorite target the past two CdM games. The seniors have hooked up 14 times for 260 yards and three touchdowns.

The connection has helped Lawson break one passing record at the school and moved him closer to setting two new records.

Lawson threw his 19th touchdown pass last week, going to Giger for 51 yards, to surpass Mitch Sands' regular-season mark of 18 he set three years ago.

Lawson, who threw another touchdown against University, is three touchdown passes away from breaking Taylor Hughes' 22-touchdown record he set in 2006.

Lawson has thrown for 1,877 yards. He is 328 yards away from breaking Hughes' record of 2,204 yards.


*If it weren't for one loss back on Sept. 23, CdM might have had a chance to close out the regular season perfect.

The Sea Kings let a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter disappear, losing the Battle of the Bay to Newport Harbor, 29-26, at Orange Coast College.

"You never want to lose, but we just talked about [how] we got to learn from it," said Meyer, whose team missed two extra-point kicks and a 38-yard field-goal attempt. "We had a really good team on the ropes in the fourth quarter and we left them off the hook. It was a great learning [experience] for us."

Meyer has seen his team win five straight games since the setback.



*Newport Harbor's victory over Marina on Thursday night was not easy, as the Sailors scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to produce a somewhat misleading 24-7 final score at Westminster High.

The Sailors will definitely take the victory, which improved them to 5-4 and 3-1 in the Sunset League. And, after Edison beat Fountain Valley on Friday and Huntington Beach topped Fountain Valley, Newport Harbor clinched a CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoff berth.

It is the third straight year Newport Harbor has made the playoffs. This week, the Sailors play Edison at home on Thursday in their regular-season finale with a chance to clinch a share of the Sunset League title.

Edison (4-0 in league) can clinch the title outright with a victory over Newport Harbor. Huntington Beach (3-1 in league), which has also clinched a playoff berth, is also still alive in the league title chase.

The Oilers finish their league schedule at home against Fountain Valley on Friday. If Edison, Newport Harbor and Huntington Beach all finish tied for first at 4-1 in league, coin flips would decide the seeding designations for the playoffs.


*Edison figures to be a favorite against Newport Harbor. Sailors senior tight end/defensive end Steve Michaelsen said that's not necessarily a problem for Newport.

"We like that," Michaelsen said. "We like to be the underdog. I feel like we play better when we're the underdog. [Against Marina], we were predicted to win and we almost let them take it. I'm excited to see how [this] week goes. Playing Edison for us is always a battle."

The Sailors have lost to Edison every year since Newport Harbor rejoined the Sunset League in 2006.


*Newport Harbor has turned around a difficult start of the season. The Sailors started 0-2 this year for the first time in Coach Jeff Brinkley's 26-year tenure.

But, with Thursday's win over Marina, Newport Harbor moved above .500 for the first time. The Sailors have won four of their last five games.



*Sage Hill still controls its own destiny in terms of qualifying for the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division playoffs, despite Friday night's 38-3 loss at St. Margaret's.

The Lightning (3-6, 1-1 in league) play host to Brethren Christian (5-4, 1-1) this week in a game that's most likely for second place in the four-team league. Sage could be co-champs as well if St. Margaret's loses this week, but the Tartans will be a big favorite to clinch the outright title against Crean Lutheran.

With a win against Brethren, Sage Hill clinches its third playoff berth in J.R. Tolver's three years as coach.

"At 4-6, I told [my team] we'll be the 2010 Seattle Seahawks," Tolver said. "They got in the playoffs last year at 7-9 and knocked off the defending champ Saints."

But with a loss to Brethren, the Lightning would be a long-shot to make the playoffs.

There are four at-large berths in the East Valley Division. Additionally, new CIF rules allow sub-.500 teams to be considered if there are no other .500 or better teams available to fill out the bracket.

However, since a loss to Brethren would leave Sage with a 3-7 overall record, Tolver said it would be difficult for the Lightning to be selected.


*St. Margaret's shut down the Sage Hill offense for much of Friday night's game. The Lightning did not score after their opening possession, when they drove 23 yards after Thomas Fenner recovered a fumble and eventually settled for a field goal.

Senior quarterback Taylor Petty completed nine of 15 passes, but the Tartans' swarming defense limited those completions to just 22 yards. The Lightning totaled just 67 yards of offense.

"For us, it's about trying to put people in the right position to make plays," Tolver said. "Unfortunately we have a first-year quarterback who's a great athlete, in Taylor Petty, but he's not a quarterback. We have to pick and choose what we can and cannot do with Taylor. Obviously, Eric Cheng is a dynamic player, but once you give him the ball one, two, 10 times, it's pretty easy to key and figure out a way to stop him.

"Our goal, as we grow as a football program, is to have a 'pick your poison' mentality. Right now, as we continue to grow as a program, those are the growing pains we're experiencing. But I think over the course of time, we'll be able to morph into that type of situation."

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