By Graham Henderson
Mission High school remained undefeated in Academic Athletic Association league play with a 16-0 win over Burton on Friday.
The visiting Bears (2-3, 2-0) were coming off a dominating win over Lowell last week, but neither the Mission nor Burton (1-5. 0-2) ever found a rhythm, as the teams traded short drives throughout.
“A win’s a win,” said Mission head coach Joe Albano.
The Bears relied heavily on their big linemen to make holes for quarterback Davon Hargraves and running back Davonta Gaines.
“I love to run the football, so a big line is great,” Albano said.
Hargaves completed 7-of-12 passes for 78 yards, and ran for 57 yards on nine carries, including one 3-yard touchdown run. Gaines’ 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter run put Mission on the board first and finished the game with 50 yards on eight carries.
It’s not often that being shut out is an improvement, but after getting routed by Galileo 49-6 last week, holding Mission to 16 points is a step forward for Burton.
“We did a lot of the same things we did last week, it just worked more,” Burton head coach Anthony Rollins said. “I would like to think that every week is an improvement.”
Burton stayed close in the second half due to two Mission turnovers, on a fumble in the backfield and an interception that went off the fingertips of Algeron Malbrough right into the hands of Burton’s Alex Moreno.
“We just made a lot of stupid mistakes,” Albano said. “Lots of the kids know each other on the teams, so I think they were a little overexcited.”
But the Pumas were never able to capitalize on Mission’s mistakes. Starting quarterback Allan Abilar never threw a pass, and went out with an injury early in the second half.
Moreno, who had started in last week’s loss, came in as a replacement, and although he managed to get 49 yard rushing on nine carries, he only completed one pass for five yards.
“It worked out as well as it could have,” Rollins said of Moreno’s performance. “He got the snaps, which is something we had a problem with last game.”
Mission’s toughest test in its league season will come next week Thursday against Washington, which beat Lowell 41-20 on Friday. Washington, Mission and Galileo sit atop the AAA standings at 2-0.
“We’re going to be ready,” Hargraves said. “We fell apart at the end, we just need to keep focused and get in shape.”
M: 8:40 — Davonta Gaines 6-yard run (Milburn run on conversion)
M: 6:03—Javaughn Shannon 3-yard run (David Osborne pass from Shannon on conversion)