COSTA MESA — Calvary Chapel High senior quarterback Colin Kearon did his best Peyton Manning impression on his team's first two drives Thursday night.
Kearon was passing over the middle with accuracy, leading the Eagles down the field for two touchdowns. He completed eight of 10 passes on the drives, and the two incomplete passes were drops. He seemed poised to perhaps lead Calvary to an upset victory on its homecoming night.
"Their quarterback was phenomenal those first two drives," Costa Mesa junior linebacker Oronde Crenshaw said. "He was throwing balls that you normally see up at the Division 1 level. He was just zipping it. We were like, 'We're not going to be able to win this game if he keeps throwing like that and we're playing the type of defense we're playing.'"
The Mesa defense responded at Jim Scott Stadium, recovering three fumbles and scoring two touchdowns. And, in the end, Calvary had no answer for Crenshaw.
Crenshaw rushed for 295 yards and three scores as the Mustangs earned a 64-22 Orange Coast League victory, staying alive in their quest for the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs.
The 64 points is the second-most in a single game in Costa Mesa history, just one point behind the record set in 1992.
To make the playoffs, Costa Mesa (4-5, 2-2) will likely have to beat first-place Laguna Beach on Nov. 1 at Orange Coast College in the league finale.
If Crenshaw keeps running this way, the Mustangs have a chance. He had three runs of more than 50 yards Thursday, including a 60-yard touchdown scamper on the Mustangs' first play from scrimmage.
Justin Smith also had two rushing touchdowns and an interception return for a touchdown for the winners, who were down 14-8 after Kearon's one-yard quarterback sneak with 5:11 left in the first quarter.
Mesa outscored Calvary Chapel, 56-8, over the final 43-plus minutes to earn its second straight blowout victory. Jose Villalpondo and Anthony McCormick, who combined on two of Mesa's three quarterback sacks, were particularly active.
"This has been typical of our whole season," Costa Mesa Coach Wally Grant said. "We start off real slow, adjusting to game speed. It took our kids two series to figure out where they needed to drop, on all their little waggles and boots. Once we did, we came to play ... I was extremely happy with my defense after the second series. Everything we worked on during the week, they started putting into play. We did a lot of good things defensively.
"I've been extremely proud of what we've done defensively all year. It's kept us in games that we shouldn't have been in."
Senior cornerback Kurt Williams had a 62-yard fumble return for a touchdown for Costa Mesa, and Quinten Bell recovered Jake Lux's onside kick in the second quarter after Calvary muffed it. That led to the Mustangs' fourth touchdown, when senior quarterback Noah JeyaRajah found sophomore fullback Will Padilla on a three-yard pass with 6:39 left in the second quarter.
JeyaRajah also recovered a fumble for the Mustangs, who brought in second-string quarterback Oliver Ferris late in the third quarter.
Kearon finished with 264 yards on 20-of-39 passing for Calvary Chapel (3-6, 1-3). His favorite target was senior Luke Kaeser, who reeled in eight passes for 151 yards.
The Mustangs, who lost their first two league games by a combined four points, now have a week to prepare for the Breakers.
"We knew that coming into the Saddleback game [last week], that every game we play from now on is a playoff game," Crenshaw said. "So we're going to come out with everything we have. We're going to give it our all, do as much as we can and leave everything on the field. And if that's not enough, then we've just got to shake their hands because they beat us."
Orange Coast League
Costa Mesa 64, Calvary Chapel 22
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Costa Mesa 16 – 20 – 28 – 0 — 64
Calvary Chapel 14 – 0– 8 – 0 — 22
CC – Turner 4 run (Weaver kick), 10:30.
CM – Crenshaw 60 run (Crenshaw run), 10:08.
CC – Kearon 1 run (Weaver kick), 5:11.
CM – Crenshaw 27 run (Crenshaw run), 2:16.
CM – Smith 40 INT return (Crenshaw run), 9:49.
CM – Padilla 3 pass from JeyaRajah (kick failed), 6:39.
CM – Smith 1 run (kick blocked), 0:29.
CM – Crenshaw 52 run (Lux kick), 10:48.
CM – Smith 38 run (Lux kick), 10:12.
CM – Williams 62 fumble return (Lux kick), 8:57.
CM – Diaz 5 run (Lux kick), 7:48.
CC – Turner 1 run (Warden pass from Kearon), 2:47.
CM – Crenshaw, 19-295, 3 TDs; Smith, 4-52, 2 TDs.
CC – Turner, 10-42, 2 TDs.
CM – JeyaRajah, 5-8-0, 56, 1 TD.
CC – Kearon, 20-39-1, 264.
CM – Bell, 2-29.
CC – Kaeser, 8-151.