Muir’s mistakes costly in Division 11 football championship loss to Marina – The Pasadena Star-News

WESTMINSTER — All year Muir’s defense carried the weight and asked for moments of offense to carry it home to victories.

But the Mustangs’ offense looked like a boxer trying time and time again for the big knockout punches and it backfired time and time again in Friday’s CIF Southern Section Division 11 championship game against Marina at Westminster High School.

As a result, Marina (12-2) lifted the championship trophy with an 18-9 victory over Muir to claim its first title in school history while denying Muir (11-3) the school’s fourth championship and first since 1989.

“One hundred percent, this is all on me,” Muir coach Zaire Calvin said. “We have to go back to the drawing board and make it happen again.

“In a game of this magnitude we needed to do what we’ve done all season and we got a little over excited and that’s my fault. I’ve got to lead better and make better decisions.’

As bad as Muir looked offensively, it still had a chance, trailing 8-7 midway through the fourth quarter.

But the back-breaker came punting out of its own end zone.

Mustangs punter Jesus Soto couldn’t handle the snap, but instead of taking a safety, which would have given the Vikings a three-point lead, Soto tried to run it out and was tackled on the 1.

On the next play, Marina quarterback Galvin Del Toro took it in for a touchdown and 15-7 lead with 7:15 left that put the Mustangs in a big hole, but still within reach.

Still a one possession game, Muir quarterback Amaris Harrison tried to get it all back, but instead he was intercepted by Dane Brenton on a deep ball and Brenton returned it 62 yards to the Mustangs’ 18, and a 30-yard field goal two minutes later made it a two possession game and that was that.

Although Harrison threw for 167 yards, his four interceptions were tough for the Mustangs to overcome on a night when their defense gave them all kinds of chances with six sacks and big stops throughout.

Calvin admitted, what did them in was they weren’t patient enough on offense. All four interceptions came on long balls.

“Too many turnovers,” Calvin said. “We should have taken more of what they gave us than trying to take more than we needed.”

Marina controlled the line of scrimmage throughout with Pharoah Rush finishing with 74 yards and Brandt Riederich with 58 and even their quarterback Galvin Del Toro threw for 56 yards and a TD.

But it was Muir’s sporadic offense that did it in and that’s how it started from the opening whistle.

The Mustangs couldn’t get out of their own way in the opening quarter with Harrison throwing two interceptions – one on the first play of the game, and another that resulted in Marina scoring its only touchdown of the half early in the second quarter.

Brenton came up with the Vikings’ second interception and he also made the big play that resulted in a touchdown. Brenton had two of the Vikings’ four interceptions.

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