High School Football: Ferris provides boost for Mustangs

During the Costa Mesa High football team's six-game win streak much of the talk has been about senior running back/linebacker Oronde Crenshaw and senior receiver/defensive back Quinton Bell, and deservedly so.

But another senior has also provided a big boost and he showed that Friday night when the Mustangs completed an undefeated run in the Orange Coast League.

Quarterback Oliver Ferris had his most productive game of the season as he threw for 237 yards and one touchdown and completed nine of his 11 passes in Costa Mesa's 56-30 win at Laguna Beach.

"He's absolutely been the whole pin that has held this thing together," Costa Mesa Coach Wally Grant said. "If you would've told me in June, that at some point in the season he would throw for over 200 yards and completed nine of his 11 passes, I would've chuckled. What he's done from Week 1 to Week 10 and with what [quarterbacks] coach [Bill] Lux has done is very impressive. He's been one of the best, most pleasant surprises I have had to coach in years."

The Mustangs hope Ferris continues to play well and improve as they enter the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs. Costa Mesa is one of five Newport-Mesa area teams in the playoffs that begin Friday night.

Costa Mesa (7-3) opens against Katella (7-3) at Jim Scott Stadium. Katella, the Orange League's third-place team, beat the Mustangs, 21-16, Sept. 14. But Costa Mesa is much improved from that game, when Crenshaw and Bell were out with injuries.

"During the last six weeks, we've gotten healthy," Grant said as one of the reasons for Mesa's rise. "We're executing a whole lot better. We are starting to understand what other teams are trying to do and the adjustments that come after. It's been a fun process to watch the kids make the adjustments."

The likely second-round matchup for the winner will be against No. 2-seeded Garden Grove (10-0), the Garden Grove League champion, which plays against Orange (7-3).

But Grant knows the first round will be tough enough to even start thinking about a chance at an upset in the quarterfinals.

"We're going to have to play one of our better games," Grant said of Friday. "This is not a typical first-round game for a league champion. This is a game that should be a second-round or semifinal game. It's going to be a very football game."

Costa Mesa will need Crenshaw and Bell to make plays.

Crenshaw has rushed for 1,599 yards and has scored 23 touchdowns in the seven games he's played this season, according to MaxPreps.com.

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