High School Fooball: CMHS can't break streak

ANAHEIM — It took senior Oronde Crenshaw just 38 seconds on Friday night to accomplish something Costa Mesa High football coach Wally Grant said he hadn't seen in 20 years of coaching.

Crenshaw returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game in the season opener at Western. The first two went for 87 yards, one when he found a seam on the left side and one going up the middle. The last return went for 89. Crenshaw almost single-handedly kept the Mustangs in the game.

"In 20 years, I haven't seen it," Grant said. "That was fun to watch."

He paused for a second.

"At least we have one thing that's working," Grant said.

Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the defense wasn't working as well. They couldn't stop the run, so Western ran the ball, over and over and over again.

The result was a 42-32 Western victory, as Mesa failed to break its streak. The Mustangs have lost their last 12 consecutive season openers, the last three years under Grant.

Grant said he was happy with the team's offensive performance. Crenshaw led the way there, too, rushing for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He found the end zone a total of five times.

But Costa Mesa ultimately had no answer for Western senior running back Alex Olejabi, who finished with 264 yards rushing on 30 carries and three touchdowns. Frankie Jorquez, another senior running back for the Pioneers, added 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Western finished with 394 yards rushing as a team.

"We didn't attack with our outside linebackers," said Grant, who was missing one of them in senior receiver/linebacker Quinton Bell (hip flexor). "We didn't come in and squeeze like we were supposed to, and we were giving [Olejabi] too much of a gap. He was having a two-way go on our inside linebacker that was coming over the top. It took us 40 minutes. We figured it out late in the second half, but once we did, they were struggling to move the ball."

The teams alternated touchdowns throughout the game, with neither team scoring back-to-back touchdowns, although Western scored both first and last.

The Pioneers' last touchdown came midway through the third quarter. The Mustangs appeared to have Olejabi stacked up at the line of scrimmage, but he somehow got away and scored from 16 yards out.

That gave Western its 42-32 advantage. The Pioneers seemed content to run the clock out after that.

After getting the ball back with 32 seconds left in the third quarter, the Pioneers went on a 13-play drive — all runs — that wasted about eight minutes. But the Mustangs got the ball back with 4:43 left, when Crenshaw stripped the carrier and Dmitruk recovered at the Costa Mesa 43.

Senior quarterback Oliver Ferris led the Mustangs downfield on a nine-play drive, which started with a 17-yard completion to Daniel Lawrence. But, on second-and-goal from the six-yard line, a pass into the middle of the field was intercepted by Western's Jeremiah Knott, sealing the Mustangs' fate.

Grant did not seem too displeased after the game. Putting up 32 points wasn't a bad effort for the Mustangs, he figured, especially without one of their big-play guys in Bell.

"I was proud of what we did offensively," Grant said. "I was proud of our quarterback. We had some kids that stepped up tonight. We've got to fix some things on defense, [but] I was proud of how our offensive operated. We'll get better as each week rolls."


Western 42, Costa Mesa 32


Costa Mesa 7 – 19 – 6 – 0 — 32

Western 6 – 22 – 14 – 0 — 42


W – Ojelabi 20 run (kick failed), 7:47.

CM – Crenshaw 13 run (Curet kick), 3:19.


W – Jorquez 3 run (Rutledge run), 9:24.

CM – Crenshaw 87 kickoff return (kick failed), 9:12.

W – Ojelabi 16 run (kick failed), 6:32.

CM – Crenshaw 87 kickoff return (Curet kick), 6:19.

W – Knott 38 pass from Rutledge (Ojelabi run), 6:00.

CM – Crenshaw 5 run (kick blocked), 0:22.


W – Jorquez 8 run (kick failed), 8:06.

CM – Crenshaw 89 kickoff return (kick blocked), 7:53.

W – Ojelabi 16 run (Knott run), 4:46.


CM – Crenshaw, 29-127, 2 TDs.

W – Olejabi, 30-264, 3 TDs; Jorquez 11-97, 2 TDs.


CM – Ferris, 3-9-1, 26.

W – Rutledge, 1-3-1, 38, 1 TD.


CM – Lawrence, 3-26.

W – Knott, 1-38, 1 TD.

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