Mustangs anything but demure versus Hoover

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on viewpoint, history was with both the Muir and Hoover high football teams in Friday evening's Pacific League contest at Moyse Field.

Muir, which entered on a three-game losing streak, resurrected its league playoff and title chances at the expense of host Hoover by virtue of a 42-0 win.

The victory improved the Mustangs' record to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in league, while Hoover dropped to 0-6 and 0-3.

In winning, Muir is attempting to follow a familiar script, as the Mustangs commenced the 2009 and 2010 league seasons 0-2 only to rebound and finish 9-1 combined in league.

"We're happy to get a win, we needed one badly," said Mustangs interim coach David Mitchell, who notched his first victory in three tries since taking over for head coach Ken Howard in the fourth week of the season. "We're just going to keep working on getting better. We know we still have a long way to go."

Hoover, however, lost its 10th straight league game and 13th consecutive game overall.

Maybe more discouraging is that the Tornadoes failed to score for a third straight week and for a seventh consecutive year versus the Mustangs, who have won the last seven meetings by a combined score of 321-0.

"The problem is it's really hard or even impossible to replicate Muir's speed in practice," Hoover Coach Andrew Policky said. "We can't simulate that speed. As much as you can watch on film, it's a shock to the kids how fast those guys are."

The Mustangs scored a pair of touchdowns each of the first three quarters before subbing out players in the fourth.

From a confidence standpoint, Muir quarterback Joshua Muema-Washington enjoyed a breakout performance, completing 10 of 17 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns.

Muema-Washington connected with Darick Holmes on an 18-yard score to open the game and then later on a nine-yard touchdown to senior Tarien Owens in the Mustangs' opening drive of the second quarter to put Muir up, 21-0, with 9:55 remaining.

Muema-Washington's last touchdown came on an 18-yard pass play to LaMarr McDaniels to close out the first-half scoring with 5:10 remaining as Muir went up, 28-0.

"This feels great coming back after last week's loss to Crescenta Valley," Muema-Washington said. "I just had to do my thing and not focus in on the negatives and play my game."

Muir also punched in three ground scores, with two coming from senior running back Travonta Herod.

The 5-foot-7, 165-pouund Herod rushed nine time for 67 yards, first scoring on a 13-yard carry in the first quarter to propel Muir ahead, 14-0, with 48 seconds left.

Herod then scored on his lone carry of the second half, a 27-yard unabated run to the end zone that increased the lead to 35-0 with 7:10 left in the third.

Muir's final score came via a 50-yard touchdown run from Holmes with a minute left in the third quarter.

Defensively, Owens had an interception for Muir, while McDaniels registered two sacks, Mark Samuels totaled a team-leading eight tackles and Michael Burnes tallied two tackles for losses.

As for Hoover, Tornadoes quarterback Alex Rangel completed four of eight passes for 20 yards while rushing six times for 26 yards.

The Tornadoes did move the ball at times and collected 11 first downs, three on their final drive of the game in which they reached the Mustangs' 28, but were turned away on a false start and back-to-back sacks.

Overall, the Tornadoes rushed 41 times for 77 yards and were led on defense with four tackles from Daniel Yepremian.

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