The Mira Costa football team, with four road games and only two home games completed returns to Manhattan Beach to play Peninsula in a Bay League matchup on Friday. Three of the Mustang's final four games are at home. 

The Mustangs are coming off a loss to Palos Verdes, so they hope to pick up a win starting with the game against the Panthers tomorrow at Waller Stadium.

“We’re still holding our heads high because we all know that winning the rest of this Bay League season is super important for our playoff hopes and keeping morale up is key,” said senior Mira Costa lineman Hank Dunlap.

Being at home helps.

“Having the home field advantage is always good since it always boosts morale for the team,” said fellow lineman Diego Osterling Tabatabaian, who is also a senior.

The team is ready to get back to a winning record now that they are 3-3 overall.

“We’re looking forward to getting back on track this week and taking a step in the right direction,” said Mira Costa senior wide receiver/defensive back Jackson Fischer. “We know that Peninsula has some good athletes so it’s important we are on top of our game this week.”

Peninsula will be coming into the game after a victory.

“Peninsula will yet be another school worth some competition,” Osterling Tabatabaian said. “We need to reevaluate ourselves for what we did wrong in the Palos Verdes game if we want to win against Peninsula.”

The Panthers posted a shutout against Leuzinger, 20-0, so that makes it more challenging. But the Mira Costa players are confident.

“After a tough road game, our team is going to come out firing on all cylinders at home,” said senior wide receiver/defensive back Kian Towfighi. “We each have to do our jobs and limit the mistakes made. Scoring early and often on offense is a necessity in order to raise our intensity levels and stay on top throughout this great matchup.”

Peninsula is 2-4 overall, but practice hopefully makes perfect or at least some improvement.

“We’re looking to work on ball security this week at practice and fine tune the mechanics of our offense before Peninsula,” Dunlap said.

“We’re off to a slow start in Bay League so far but we’re looking to turn things around and get some momentum building for the rest of our league games,” Fischer said.

Last week Mira Costa opened Bay League with the biggest challenge right out of the gate on the road at Palos Verdes. They felt they were ready to take on the Sea Kings and they were in the game for a while trailing 15-9, but turnovers played a part in the final score, 34-9.

“Everyone worked incredibly hard preparing for Palos Verdes so coming up short was tough for all of us,” Dunlap said. “Our defense was great and I thought we did well stopping them on the ground but our offense obviously struggled a lot with execution. It’s rare that a game is won when the offense gives up five or six turnovers.”

“I thought we played a tough game against Palos Verdes and I was mostly proud of the way we played,” Fischer said. “Poor execution on our end led to Palos Verdes getting the best of us in the end.”

Palos Verdes improved to 4-2 and 1-0 in the Bay League.

It looks like not much has changed with the Sea Kings. They will be the team to beat and favored in the rest of their games.

“I thought we were prepared to take down Palos Verdes since we were on a three-win hot streak,” Osterling Tabatabaian said. “Our chances looked pretty good although their defense really got the best of us since so many minor mistakes were made that also hurt our chances of coming back.”

If they can win out, they still have a shot at possibly sharing the Bay League title. A win against Peninsula is something they will have to have.

“We have to learn from our mistakes individually and as a team if we want to make a different story against Peninsula,” Osterling Tabatabaian said.

Mira Costa’s homecoming game is Friday, Oct. 25, against Compton Centennial.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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