Vista Murrieta quarterback Nicholas Stevens runs for a first down against… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)
There was a double rainbow glistening among the storm clouds at Encino Crespi on Friday night. Then there was a 10-minute downpour in the first quarter, a weird weather experience that the visitors from Vista Murrieta are used to in their community.
No one felt more comfortable or pumped than Vista Murrieta cornerback Elijah Brown.
A year ago, he was injured and couldn't play in a nonleague game against the Celts, who ran up 482 passing yards in a victory.
This time, Brown and his Broncos teammates wanted to make amends, and they did so in a big way. Brown had two interceptions and linebacker Su'a Cravens added another. Vista Murrieta recorded five sacks and rolled to a 38-20 victory over the No. 7-ranked Celts.
"We just got after them and kept coming and coming," Brown said.
Added Cravens: "Our cornerbacks stepped up. Our safeties stepped up.
We didn't allow any big plays."
Vista Murrieta (4-0) ran the ball at will behind junior quarterback Nicholas Stevens, who rushed for 167 yards. The Broncos gained 233 yards in the first half on the ground and finished with 360 yards rushing. Darion Williams ran for two touchdowns and Stevens had another.
Give credit to Vista Murrieta offensive tackles Corey Whitaker (6-5, 270 pounds) and Sapule Ta'amilo (6-3, 275), who were outplaying their more publicized counterparts from Crespi, Jordan Simmons and Colin Prestesater.
If football fans want to see one of the most athletic, versatile players in the Southland, they need to take look at Cravens, a 6-2, 210-pound junior who had a sack, caught a 21-yard touchdown pass and scored on a one-yard run. And just wait until he gets bigger and faster.
"Hopefully, I'll be 6-3 by the end of this year and 6-4 by the time I graduate," Cravens said. "I'm eating a lot of potatoes and a lot of meat."
Crespi (4-1) should have added more meat to its schedule in preparation for Friday's game. Beating three winless teams did not prepare the Celts for Vista Murrieta's option game or the relentless pressure put on quarterback Cody Cordell, who had three touchdown passes, giving him 18 for the season, but was intercepted three times.
It was not a good night for the Serra League. Crespi, Loyola and Alemany were all beaten.
Vista Murrieta lost three fumbles in the first half,
but its ability to run the ball effectively behind Stevens (107 yards rushing) enabled the Broncos to come away with a 21-13 halftime lead.
Stevens had a one-yard touchdown run and also passed to Cravens for another touchdown.
Chris Harper caught two touchdowns for the Celts, but he couldn't break loose. Brown and cornerback Larry Parrish, who also didn't play last season against Crespi because of injury, got their revenge.