Playing without three of their star athletes who were facing a one-game suspension, the Moors (2-2) were putting in sophomore players on defense that have never seen the field before and they stepped up and made plays when needed, Moors coach Lou Torres said.
"There are some very young kids that had to step up today and play for the kids that we did not have playing and we build some character tonight," Torres said.
The Moors sophomore quarterback Joshua Mendoza led his team downfield on the winning drive when he connected with his fellow sophomore receiver Oscar Gayton for a 63-yard gain that set up the1-yard touchdown run by Mendoza to take the lead, 24-20, in the fourth quarter.
"Josh actually told me about that last play to Oscar when he saw it on the previous possession and with our backs against the wall I asked him if he thought we could do it and he said yes and he came through," Torres said.
In the first half the Moors looked like they were going to dominant the game as the defense made big plays that halted any scoring chances for the Mules (0-3).
Moors sophomore cornerback Ezra Broadus picked off Mules junior quarterback Dominic Esparza and took it 57-yards back for the touchdown that gave them a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
A penalty driven game for the Mules helped give the Moors good field advantage on their next drive and set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Broadus and added on to the lead, 13-7, in the second quarter.
The Mules orchestrated a beautiful drive before the half that was capped with a 21-yard connection from Esparza to junior receiver Thomas Rojas to cut the lead to 13-7 in the second quarter.
The Mules defense responded with big plays of their own in the second half as junior linebacker Jesse Gutierrez intercepted a pass from Mendoza and took it 20 yards for the score and the lead, 14-13, in the opening drive in the third quarter.
They added on to their lead with a screen pass from Esparza to junior running back Danny Escobar for a 29-yard touchdown and their final lead, 20-16, in the fourth quarter.
The bend but don't break mentality for the Moors defense came up huge on the Mules final drive and sealed the victory with a sack by senior defensive lineman Dominic Gonzales.