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Swanson, Curet lead Costa Mesa past Santiago

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

GARDEN GROVE – Costa Mesa won the turnover battle and ultimately won the game Friday night as it turned away Santiago, 25-14, at Garden Grove High.

In a game that featured 11 turnovers (eight by Santiago), the Mustangs (2-0) made enough plays in the first half to hold on for the victory.

Ben Swanson threw for 237 yards and one touchdown, with 209 of those yards came in the opening half.

Cameron Curet made an impact in all three facets of the game for Costa Mesa. The multi-faceted senior finished with 110 receiving yards and a touchdown, forced a fumble and kicked a 27-yard field goal.

Costa Mesa running back Jonathan Brucales also contributed with 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

The Mustangs marched downfield on their first drive only to be turned away with no points. Santiago took over deep inside its territory and fumbled its opening snap. Brucales recovered and then scored on the next play from the 1 to give Costa Mesa an 8-0 lead.

Dominick Smith-Dotson got the Cavaliers offense going in the second quarter with a pair of explosive plays that cut into the Costa Mesa advantage.

Smith-Dotson took a reverse 80 yards for Santiago’s first score as he displayed a dazzling array of elusive moves and breakaway speed.

Brucales answered quickly with a 65-yard TD run to give the Mustangs a 17-6 lead.

Then Smith-Dotson capped a Cavaliers drive with another score, this time a leaping 27-yard grab over the outstretched arms of Josh Snipes.

But Santiago couldn’t pull any closer than a five-point deficit as Costa Mesa responded yet again with another scoring drive as Curet caught a 30-yard touchdown pass.


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