Mira Mesa Marauders 28, Poway Titans 21
The #7 seed Mira Mesa Marauders came into Poway High and handled business against the #2 seed Titans, winning 28-21 in the quarterfinals of the CIF Division II tournament.
Both offenses were able to get going quickly in the first quarter. On the Marauders’ first possession, they were able to drive down the field with little resistance. They finished the possession with a short-yardage rushing touchdown from senior runningback Javelle Brown. Poway was not to be outdone just yet though, as their first time with the pigskin also ended with a score. A long run from junior running back Josh Butler helped set up a long 42-yard bomb of a touchdown from junior quarterback Maximus Brown to junior receiver DJ Owens.
The Marauders’ second possession didn’t go as planned. The Titans’ defense forced a punt, and then they were able to tackle the punter far in the backfield before he could get the ball off. That put Poway in terrific field position, and they capitalized. A sweet flea flicker play from Butler-to-Brown-to senior tight end Noah Araujo picked up a big chunk of yardage. The Titans were able to punch it in again, this time with Butler on a short-yardage touchdown. Mira Mesa was able to find the end zone once more before half, on a 5 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Noah Tumblin to Brown for his second score of the day. Poway nearly added a score on a big play, but the receiver had the ball hit out of his hands prior to passing the goal line. The ball rolled out of the back of the end zone, resulting in a touchback for the Marauders.
In the second half, Mira Mesa came out looking similar to the first. A few big runs by senior runningback Elijah Lynch helped set up another touchdown pass from Tumblin, this one to senior wide out Josh Poston to help the Marauders take a 21-14 lead. After that, it became more of a defensive battle between the two teams. Both teams made some big stops in big moments.
In the fourth quarter, Mira Mesa tacked on another score, this one from Tumblin to senior receiver Albert Lemon. Poway scored a touchdown late game, on another pass from Brown to Owens. Their onside kick with only seconds left on the clock was unsuccessful, and Mira Mesa gets their first win against Poway in school history.
Mira Mesa will now face #3 seed Valley Center in the semifinals next week.
PREVIEW:We’re into the quarterfinals of the CIF San Diego Section Football Championships, as the Poway Titans (8-2) host the Mira Mesa Marauders (8-2) in a Division II battle.
Poway’s excellent regular season earned them a first round bye, so this will be the Titan’s first taste of postseason action this year. They finished the season 5-0 in league play, and their smash mouth style of play (over 230 rushing yards per game as a team) was a big factor in their success. Junior running back Josh Butler finished the regular season with 1,138 yards on the ground and 17 rushing touchdowns. Three others on the team finished the season with at least 200 yards and 3 scores, so they have plenty of threats out of the backfield. Defensively, keep an eye on the duo of junior Colby Kopacz and senior Hayden Thompson. The linebackers paced the team in getting to the quarterback, tying for the team lead with 5.5 sacks each. They’re going to be facing a challenge as Mira Mesa’s quarterback is very shifty in and out of the pocket.
Mira Mesa is coming off of a big 42-21 win over San Pasqual in the first round of the CIF tournament. That game saw two players eclipse the 100 yard mark on the ground; one being senior running back Javelle Brown, who finished with a team-high 119 yards and a score. The other was dual threat senior quarterback Noah Tumblin, who ran for 101 yards and two scores, with another 98 yards and a touchdown through the air. This was nothing new for Tumblin, who averaged nearly 260 total yards per game throughout the regular season. Look for him to keep the pressure on the Titans’ defense this week. On the other side of the ball, the defensive backs have to be coming into this game with some swagger after picking off San Pasqual three times last week. Seniors Marcus Dean and Cameron Minor and junior Elijah Thomas each had one interception apiece. Dean and Thomas were among the leading tacklers for the squad, trailing only senior defensive tackle Steven Noche. They will have to be all over the place to slow down the Titan’s ground attack.
For highlights, tune into the Prep Pigskin Report on KUSI Friday at 10:45pm. To get live updates throughout the game follow us on Twitter @RedJacketArmy.