Week 2: La Costa Canyon Mavericks 24, Vista Panthers 23

For the first three-and-a-half quarters, the game between the La Costa Canyon Mavericks and the visiting Vista Panthers was a defensive stalemate, as successful offensive plays were hard to come by.

However, the final half of the fourth quarter saw the Mavericks’ offense, serenaded by the sounds of a roaring and camouflaged student section, spring into overdrive as an offense led by running back Aiden Lippert tied the game with less than a minute left in regulation and helped win the game in overtime.

Throughout the first quarter, the game could only be described as a stalemate.

After Lippert gave La Costa Canyon the lead with a 12-yard touchdown run, Vista tied the game after Brent Lawson’s Cirque-Du-Soleil style catch set up a 1-yard Desmond Taua touchdown run.

Vista took their first lead in the second quarter when Nico Salazar’s 24-yard field goal passed the uprights, but the Panthers were getting no favors from the La Costa Canyon defense.

Vista’s three-headed running machine of Taua, David Florez, and Brian Kelly looked relatively tame against a Mavericks’ defense that pounced on running backs and forced loss of yardages on seemingly every other play.

The Panthers’ defense, sensing a challenge had been issued, refused to back down.

A Sam Bennet sack at the end of the second quarter squashed a Mavericks’ drive, while defensive back Justice Reith began the third quarter by plucking a Marshall Eucker pass out of the air.

With the ball back in its hands, Vista decided to forego the traditional offense to instead pull a fast one on La Costa Canyon.

What appeared to be a Taua run was instead a pass play, as the running back found a wide-open Lawson for a 25-yard score.

With the score 17-10 heading into the final quarter of play after Joe Bowman’s 31-yard field goal, all Vista had to do was hold on to the lead.

Facing defeat square in the eyes, La Costa Canyon refused to go quietly into the night.

With less than 40 seconds left in regulation, the Mavs offense charged down the field and tied the game on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Eucker to Trevor Gonzales.

A last-ditch effort from a deflated Vista offense was driven into the ground by a revitalized La Costa Canyon defense, and into overtime the game went.

What was once a defensive standoff had turned into an offensive shootout.

Lippert, who finished his day with 108 yards of rushing on 14 carries, picked up his second touchdown of the day with a 9-yard scamper.

Vista’s Travis Bennet followed suit with a 22-yard strike to Lawson to put them within reach of another tie.

But, whether it be an errant breeze or the noise caused by a thunderous stadium, the extra point sailed wide of the crossbar and La Costa Canyon celebrated a well-earned home victory by a score of 24-23.

Next up for victorious La Costa Canyon (1-1) is another home match against the San Clemente Tritons. Vista (1-1) will look to rebound next week as they will take on their rivals in the Rancho Buena Vista Longhorns.

To see highlights from this game tune into the PPR on KUSI at 10:45 p.m. For updates from around the county follow us on Twitter @RedJacketArmy.


After a big win to kick off their season, the Vista Panthers (1-0) look to keep the offense flowing as they head to the danger zone of La Costa Canyon High School to square off with the La Costa Canyon Mavericks (0-1).

The Mavs are looking to bounce back after getting trounced by Cathedral Catholic in their season opener.

Leading the defense on the field is linebacker Ozzie Nicholas, who will look to lead the defensive unit to a bounce-back game after allowing 42 points to the Dons in Week 1.

While the offense had trouble gaining liftoff last week, they are still not to be underestimated.

Marshall Eucker lines up behind the center and can stretch the field by throwing the ball to receiver Trevor Gonzales.

The Panthers, on the other hand, had a field day against the St. Margaret’s Tartans, scoring 53 points while running wild against the Tartans defense.

Silver Pigskin Watch-lister Desmond Taua racked up over 200 yards of rushing and will be a threat to the Mavs running game.

Travis Bennet takes over at quarterback after the graduation of Josh Davies.

The Panthers’ defense is no slouch, either, as Zack Schipper and L.J. Turner can rack up the tackles at the linebacker position.

The last time these two teams squared off, La Costa Canyon triumphed over Vista, 27-7, on Aug. 24th, 2018.

Vista will be looking to return the favor this week, as it will be a battle between La Costa Canyon’s physical defense and Vista’s powerful running game.

To see highlights from this game tune into the PPR on KUSI at 10:45 p.m. For updates from around the county follow us on Twitter @RedJacketArmy.

Categories: This Week’s Games