ORINDA — Oops, there they go again, so begin the whispers alongside the sideline. Miramonte is passing and running and sprinting all over the place. It's like a jailbreak to the end zone every time the Matadors get the ball on offense. We gotta do something, defensive coordinators think to themselves.
So this is what that fear creates.
Last week Clayton Valley, a heavy favorite to beat Miramonte in a Division 2 semifinal, tried four onside kicks. Earlier in the year, Northgate tried five onsides. All were done with one purpose in mind: Recover the ball and keep it away from the Miramonte's offense.
It's an act of desperation well-rooted in common sense. Miramonte ran the ball 338 times this season and averaged 5.66 yards a carry. Miramonte averaged 15.5 yards every time they completed a pass and there were 241 of those.
"Usually the only way we don't score," running back Ray Clark said, "is when we stop ourselves. The way things have been clicking for us, I don't see any defense that can really hold us in check for four quarters."
As the old saw goes, it ain't bragging if you can do it. And Miramonte can do it. The Mats are averaging 54.7 points a game in the playoffs. The Mats have two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard running back. Quarterback Drew Anderson has thrown for 3,635 yards and 42 touchdowns.
What amazes Miramonte coach Jack Schram is not that his team has scored more than 50 points in four games this season or the 66 touchdowns or the 5,651 yards of total offense. What amazes Schram is that Anderson doesn't have multiple offers from NCAA Division I universities.
"I think he's the best quarterback in Northern California as far as a pure passer goes," Schram said.
"He's not in the RG3 (Robert Griffin III) mold. He's more in the Tom Brady mold. If there's any college that's looking for a pure passer, Drew is it."
Watching Miramonte practice Tuesday, I was struck by how Anderson looked so much like Cardinal Newman quarterback Keaton Dunsford.