Muir High is the type of team that can be backed against its own goal line, and still strike for a touchdown.
The Mustangs, who came in with a six-game winning streak, used speed with big-play capability and pulled away for a 39-26 win over Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League battle at Moyse Field.
The Falcons, who had four turnovers, trailed by 11 points at the half of last Friday’s game proved gritty, but wore down by the fourth quarter.
“Our guys stayed with it,’’ said Muir Head Coach John Hardy, whose team collected 290 total net yards. “Our problem right now is that we’re banged up. When we get everyone healthy, the sky’s the limit.”
CV got within 25-20 when running back Kevin Hello (172 yards on 26 carries) scored on a three-yard run and 5:26 left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs (8-1 and 6-0 in league) took full control after quarterback Dejon Williams (nine of 16 for 147 yards) ran for 35 yards before pitching to Tony Claxton who bolted the final 20 yards for a 32-20 lead and 3:54 left in the same quarter.
When the Mustangs marched 54 yards and Williams scored from three yards out it became 39-20 and 1:16 showing in the third quarter.
The Falcons (7-2 and 4-2 in league) used an 80-yard, 10-play drive to get within 13 points which quarterback Brian Gadsby (13 of 35 for 136 yards and one interception) capped when he hit Chase Walker with a nine-yard toss and 10:19 left in the fourth quarter.
Muir led 12-0 after one quarter when Devonte Cravin recovered Kyle Tavizon’s fumble and returned the ball 40 yards and 9:01 left. Daniel Cervantes added a 42-yard scamper and 48 seconds left on the clock.
“It’s a great game and they’re [Muir] a great team,’’ said Crescenta Valley Head Coach Paul Schilling. “We couldn’t allow a special team touchdown or a defensive touchdown and we allowed both. They’re physical. They stripped the ball.”
Jordan Lobianco’s 57-yard kickoff return set up Hello’s five-yard burst and 9:30 left in the second quarter as CV (342 total yards) came within 12-7, and even led 14-12 on Gadsby’s one-yard dive and 6:04 showing before the intermission.
On the ensuing kickoff Claxton fumbled, but John Brown grabbed the ball and dashed 70 yards that made it 18-14 with 5:44 left in the second quarter.
The Mustangs pulled ahead 25-14 when Jaylyn Newson scored from three yards out and 1:03 left before each made their way into the locker room.