By Jeremy Balan
Dominance is a term bandied about in sports, but no other word better describes what Mission High School’s defense did to Galileo on Thursday.
The Bears held Galileo to 85 total yards, forced eight turnovers and returned three interceptions for touchdowns in a 66-6 Academic Athletic Association win at Kezar Stadium.
“I was really surprised about the outcome,” said Mission head coach Joe Albano. “Since [our first game against] Tomales, we’ve been going slowly downhill, so we’re trying to get back up.”
The Bears (5-2, 4-0) still haven’t given up a point on defense in AAA play, as Galileo’s only score came on a 91-yard kick return from junior Delfonse Lewis in the final minute of the first quarter to cut the Mission lead to 16-6.
But in the second quarter, Mission took over, scoring 28 points, all off Galileo (3-4, 1-3) turnovers, including a 38-yard interception return from junior Brandon Torrence and a 71-yard interception return from senior Davon Hargraves.
The Bears also knocked out Galileo starting quarterback Kyle Nelson in the second quarter with an apparent rib injury, sacked Galileo quarterbacks five times and forced the Lions to run a staggering 20 plays for a loss of yardage.
“It was one thing after another,” said Galileo head coach Mark Huynh. “It was just one of those days.”
The Mission offense only ran 30 plays, but capitalized on prime field position, including two touchdown runs from senior running back Algeron Malbrough, who had a game-high 113 yards on just 10 carries. Malbrough also had a 3-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
“I’ve been doing this for years, playing both ways, starting with [junior varsity],” Malbrough said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help my team.”
The loss likely eliminates Galileo from the AAA playoffs for the first time in Huynh’s three-year tenure as head coach.
“We just told them that there are three more games that have to be played,” Huynh said. “We can’t even think about playoffs. Hopefully this challenges them to come back and work. Hopefully this gets the message across.”
The Bears, on the other side of the spectrum, are undefeated in AAA play, but have yet to play a team with a winning league record. That all ends next week, when they will face defending champion Washington, who will likely also be undefeated.
“We’re just looking to see how good we really are,” Albano said. “We’ve always been ahead [this season], so I want to see how we react when we go down, if it happens. We’ll see what happens when someone hits us a little bit. That’s the true test of a team.”
M: 5:24 — Antoine Porter 29-yard run (Davon Hargraves run on conversion)
M: 0:49 — Algeron Malbrough 19-yard run (Hargraves run on conversion)
G: 0:24 — Delfonse Lewis 91-yard kickoff return (conversion failed)
M: 8:43 — Roy Sauceda 2-yard run (conversion failed)
M: 8:29 — Brandon Torrence 38-yard interception return (conversion failed)
M: 6:36 — Sauceda 10-yard run (Porter run on conversion)
M: 2:24 — Hargraves 71-yard interception return (Torrence run on conversion)
M: 7:01 — Torrence 19-yard pass from Porter (Porter run on conversion)
M: 3:15 — Malbrough 3-yard interception return (Porter pass on conversion)
M: 7:45 — Malbrough 5-yard run (conversion failed)