Trabuco Hills High School Coach Jim Barnett wasn't sure why his team's passing attack seemed to be running on fumes in the first quarter.
Quarterback John Barnes is normally a prolific passer, but his only completion was a pass behind the line of scrimmage. Maybe Barnes was simply hurrying the ball. Or maybe it had something to do with the Mustangs' concern for two players--Greg Sparks and Paul Yarmoluk--who suffered concussions and cuts in a car accident Thursday afternoon.
But whatever stalled the Mustang passing game did not last as Trabuco Hills (5-0) flattened Miraleste, 24-3, Thursday night in Mission Viejo Stadium.
"There were some things open and we just weren't executing," Barnett said. "So I said, 'Hey, just execute.' "
The Mustangs did. Barnes completed 13 of 25 passes for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns. Most of those completions were long ones to wide receiver Jeff Dooley, who scored just one touchdown but gained 288 yards on nine catches. Only one of those receptions was for less than 20 yards. Dooley's last reception covered 45 yards before he was tackled at Miraleste's 2-yard line.
At first, Dooley and the offense didn't seem to be in for such a successful night. Miraleste took a 3-0 lead when Tony Accardo kicked a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter. The Mustangs, plagued by two fumbles and an interception, weren't able to tie the game until the final two minutes of the first half as Matt Davis kicked a 52-yard field goal.
But the offense began to move. Todd Marsh, who would wind up with 41 yards on 13 carries, scored on a one-yard run that gave the Mustangs a 9-3 lead in the third quarter. And the Mustangs scored again that same period when tight end Mark Barnes scored on a 28-yard pass.
Meanwhile, the Mustang defense was able to hold Miraleste's (0-5) Mando Enriquez to 74 yards and sack Lou Budde six times for losses of 23 yards. The Mustangs scored their final touchdown when Dooley caught a 36-yard pass from Barnes. He came close to scoring again late in the quarter, but was tackled on the two-yard line. The Mustangs lost two yards on a running play, and then John Barnes threw three straight incompletions.