Just three weeks ago, Gus Miranda was running up big numbers for the Edison High School sophomore team. So big, in fact, that first-year Charger Coach Dave White took notice.
White brought Miranda up to the varsity level for last week's game against Westminster. "We thought our offense needed some pazazz," White said. Miranda helped the Chargers to a crucial victory.
By Friday night, Miranda looked as if he has got this varsity stuff wired after only two games. The 5-foot 9-inch, 160-pound running back rushed for one touchdown and caught a shovel pass for another as Edison recorded a 21-0 Sunset League victory over Ocean View in front of 2,000 spectators at Sheue Field.
Miranda had 14 carries for 74 yards--including a 17-yard scoring run late in the second quarter--and took a shovel pass from quarterback Mike Henderson 26 yards for a touchdown to help the Chargers improve their record to 2-1 in Sunset League play and 6-2 overall. Ocean View dropped to 0-3, 2-6.
White said he's not particularly surprised by Miranda's instant success. "He had 1,000 yards (rushing) after five games with the sophomores, so we knew he was good," White said. "He just gives us another dimension back there. Now, we have three runners in Gus, Kaleaph (Carter) and Henderson."
Carter, a sophomore starter one year ago, rushed for 45 yards and took another Henderson shovel pass 22 yards to set up the Chargers' first score. The shovel pass either set up or resulted in all three Edison touchdowns, including Miranda's scoring run on a third and 19 from the Ocean View 26.
"It's been a good play for us," White said. "We used it a lot at the end of last season, but teams started keying on it so we had to go away from it a little. Tonight, it worked well."
The play helped Henderson finish 7 of 16 passing for 113 yards passing. The senior quarterback/defensive back, who was a wide receiver for the Chargers in 1985, also rushed for 41 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown run at the 9:05 mark of the second quarter and had two interceptions on defense.
Defense played a big role in the Chargers' second straight victory after an upset loss to Marina. Edison held the Seahawks to 57 yards in total offense in the first half, 25 of which came on one play. Ocean View managed just 41 yards rushing in the game, and the Seahawks were turned away the few times they managed to get deep into Edison territory.
Ocean View got inside the Charger 20 twice in the second half, with no points to show for it. Vince Legaspi sacked Sea Hawk quarterback Mike Spence for a seven-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the Charger 11 to stop one drive. The Seahawks had a first down at the Edison 16 on their next possession, but Victor Gutierrez, who took over at quarterback after Spence left with a hip injury, was thrown for an eight-yard loss by Bruce DuBois.
"That's our defense," White said. "We try not to give up the big play and we make teams try to drive on us. Sooner or later, we'll get a sack or turnover. That's our philosophy."
Now, White and the Chargers will turn their attention to next week's game against rival Fountain Valley. This is always a big game for both teams, but this year it has become one of survival.
"The loser will have to scramble just to make the playoffs," White said.