The wake-up call did not come until the second quarter.
By then, La Costa Canyon trailed by 14 points.
The rest of the game, though, belonged to junior quarterback Duke Mackle.
Mackle started the second half by completing 10 straight passes and finished the game with three touchdown passes to lead the Mavericks to a 24-21 nonleague football victory over host Rancho Bernardo on Friday night.
Mackle, who was 2-of-14 passing this season before entering the game when starter Jake Mann was injured, finished 14-of-19 for 134 yards Friday. He also rushed 14 times for 43 yards.
“Duke Mackle was a man,” LCC coach Sean Sovacool said. “He’s a blue-collar guy. He was a stud when we needed him.”
But defensive back Isaac Williams saved the Mavericks (3-2) with three interceptions, including two in the end zone in the first half to keep the halftime lead at 14-7 for Rancho Bernardo (1-4).
The Broncos recorded 10 first downs to none for the Mavericks en route to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Rancho Bernardo did not score again until the final minute, when Tucker Reed hit Jimmy Byron for an 8-yard TD with 23.7 seconds left.
“I knew we would come back,” Mackle said. “When Coach called me, there was no hesitation. I was ready to go.”