In a foggy season opener at Lowell High School last night, the Mission High Bears lived up to their name by mauling the Lowell Cardinals 46-13.
The Bears gave up penalties and a turnover that allowed the Cardinals to stay within striking distance. Still, Mission High managed to score more than three times as many points as Lowell.
In some ways the game resembled the two teams’ last meeting in the 2011-2012 season playoff semifinal.
For example, last year the Bears led at halftime by only four points, 28-24, while last night the Bears kept the Cardinals close with a halftime score of 13-6.
Lowell ran a majority of running plays with a double wing offense that included seven linemen. This put pressure on Mission High. Three- and four-yard runs by the Cardinals on every down put the Bears to the test.
“It was hard, a lot of pressure on the line,” said defensive tackle and offensive guard Mane Fale, a senior. “We got to make sure we hit the weight room.”
As they did last year, the Bears’ defense took a stand and made the proper adjustments to hold the Cardinal run, allowing quarterback Antoine Porter to lead the offensive.
On one dazzling play, Porter fumbled the snap and what appeared to be a 15-yard sack for the Cardinals turned into a first down as Porter recovered the ball and was able to juke and run.
The Bears ran counters and sweeps that allowed Porter to run and complete accurate passes. The Cardinals broke down on all areas of the field, and by the end of the third quarter the Bears were up 27-6.
During the fourth quarter the Bears made third-down conversations to repeat the cycle of last year’s semifinal playoff game.
Mission High closed the door with a defensive interception from junior Gabe Maldonado, a middle linebacker, who was able to return the ball 70 yards for a touchdown to give the Bears the 46-13 win.
The Bears spread around their offense, with Deron McElroy, Armani McFarland, Antione Porter, Alex Tico and Demitrius Thibeaux each scoring one touchdown.
The Bears’ next game will be against Galileo High School at Galileo on Oct. 5 at 3 p.m.