Mustangs' Smith earns OCL MVP award

Costa Mesa High senior tailback Mario Smith received the Orange Coast League MVP in football after rushing for 2,155 yards and 28 touchdowns on 197 carries and leading the Mustangs to a second-place finish in league.

Smith, a transfer from Silverado of Victorville, helped Costa Mesa (8-3, 4-1 in league) contend for a league title in the regular-season finale and return to the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs after missing the postseason in 2010.

Smith set a Costa Mesa single-season school record for total touchdowns with 30, two coming on kickoff returns. He broke Charles Chatman's 29-touchdown total established in 1994.

Smith totaled 1,095 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground in five league contests. His biggest game was a 356-yard, seven-touchdown rushing performance in a 63-47 win at Laguna Beach. The seven rushing touchdowns is a Costa Mesa single-game school record.

Smith, who has an offer from Sacramento State, led the Mustangs to their first eight-win season in nine years.

Joining Smith on the first team are teammates senior kicker Peter Marquez, who shared the Special Teams Player of the Year award, senior quarterback Nathan Alvis, senior wide receiver Jordan Walden, senior defensive end Jake Comer, senior receiver Trace Curet and sophomore middle linebacker Oronde Crenshaw.

Marquez converted 30 of 31 extra-point kicks and 95% of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. He also made a 42-yard field goal.

Alvis, a repeat first-team selection, threw for 1,310 yards and 13 touchdowns, with two interceptions.

Walden finished with 44 catches for 708 yards and eight touchdowns.

Comer recorded 90 tackles, 10 sacks and eight hurries.

Curet caught 29 passes for 426 yards and four touchdowns.

Crenshaw finished with 130 tackles, eight for losses, five sacks, and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.

— From staff reports

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