La Costa Canyon High scored quickly and often Friday night and made a statement for the third week in a row, routing visiting Escondido 38-0 for its third straight blowout win.
"I was a little disappointed early because we missed some opportunities, and in (the Avocado League) you can't do that," LCC football coach Sean Sovacool said. "But we play hard and we play together. And we're opportunistic."
Are they ever. The Mavericks set up four scores with turnovers.
"We're always trying to prepare for (turnover opportunities) in practice," said Christian Estrella, who had two fumble recoveries that led to touchdowns. Tonight it just kind of played into my hands."
On a night when Escondido's Kevin Rodriguez eventually rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries, the Mavericks methodically dominated the Cougars to lead 24-0 after a first half in which they held the visitors without a first down until the second quarter.
The Mavericks struck on a 26-yard pass from Jake Neufeld to Zack Monahan and a 24-yard run by Joey Esqueda in a 1:07 span late in the first quarter. Estrella recovered a fumble at the Escondido 24 to set up Esqueda's touchdown.
In the second quarter, La Costa Canyon went 54 yards in 27 seconds to score on a 25-yard screen pass from Neufeld to LaQuann Carroll and, after a fumble recovery, added three more points on a 28-yard Nick McAllister field goal.
The Mavericks blew the game completely open by scoring twice in the first 1:13 to begin the second half.
Karson Lippert's 54-yard TD run put LCC up 47 seconds into the third quarter 31-0. After an Escondido fumble, the Mavericks scored again 23 seconds later on Carroll's 3-yard run.
Saxe is a freelance writer.