Trabuco Hills starts fast, can't finish


MISSION VIEJO – Trabuco Hills is finding out defending a CIF-SS championship is a tough task.

The Mustangs suffered a second consecutive lopsided defeat to open the season, falling to La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad, 37-21, Friday in a nonleague game at Trabuco Hills High.

“We have a very tough schedule, especially early,” Mustangs coach Joe Silvey said. “We’ve had a couple of bad results in terms of the score, but we’re determined to work hard and get that thing turned around.”

First-year starting quarterback Cooper Uhl looked good early. He completed four of his five passes on the Mustangs’ opening drive, ending it with a 17-yard touchdown dart to Noah Strenn to put his team in front.

Trabuco Hills (0-2) extended its lead to 14-0 when Uhl found the left edge on a quarterback draw with 3:41 left in the second quarter.

But then La Costa Canyon (1-1) retaliated with a flurry of quick-strike plays. DJ Sy broke a 69-yard touchdown run to jump-start the Mavericks offense just 32 seconds after the Mustangs’ score.

On their next drive, the Mavericks beat the halftime gun as quarterback Tanner Clark plunged across the goal line on a sneak to tie the score at 14.

Clark came out firing in the third quarter. He strung together five straight completions for 118 yards, the last two for touchdowns of 15 and 36 yards to give La Costa Canyon a 28-14 edge.

Prior to the Mavericks’ first scoring drive late in the first half, the Mustangs had held La Costa Canyon without a first down. Scott Kruger, Austin Fine, and Russell Townsen were disruptive in the backfield.

“I think they’re good players, and they made good plays for us,” Silvey said. “We didn’t finish on a number of plays that we had opportunities to tackle them for a loss or get a sack.”

Uhl finished with 224 passing yards, accounting for all three touchdowns (one passing, two rushing).

Chad Crosbie had 101 total yards (71 rushing). Rennon Misiuk was the Mustangs’ leading receiver with five catches for 57 yards.

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