ESCONDIDO Jesus Barajas and Josh Cabarlie recovered onside kicks early in the third quarter Friday night and Escondido made a seven-point halftime lead hold up to down visiting Mira Mesa 35-14.
The Cougars (1-1) got big performances from quarterback Kellen McCoy and running back Marcio Souffront to give new head coach Jud Bordman his first win.
The Cougars broke the game open 21-7 after Souffront (218 yards rushing yards on 27 carries) ran 26 yards to set up McCoy’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Miguel Rocha followed Isaac Moreno’s successful onside kick to begin the second half.
McCoy hit Souffront with a 14-yard screen pass early in the fourth quarter to make it 28-7.
Escondido dominated the first half but led only 14-7 at the break when the Cougars missed a 22-yard field goal on the final play.
Souffront rushed for 145 yards on 15 carries in the first two quarters and McCoy scored on runs of 2 and 19 yards.
Escondido retained possession for the first 9:02 after receiving the opening kickoff and Souffront broke off runs of 10, 18 and 13 on the drive. McCoy kept the ball on a 6 yard run down to the 2 from where he scored on the next play.
After Jonathan Middleton recovered the Marauders’ fourth-down fumble at the Escondido 4, the Cougars took the ball down again to make it 14-0 with 5:55 left in the half on McCoy’s 19-yard keeper. Mira Mesa cut the lead to 14-7 just 52 seconds later on Lamar Roboteau’s 46-yard run.
McCoy hit on his first eight pass attempts.