And the Tornadoes (0-7-1, 0-3 in league) were just seven points behind
late in the third quarter Thursday night at Moyse Field.
After Hoover made the score 21-14 with 2:26 in the third, Muir (4-2-1,
2-1 in league) turned up the juice, scoring a touchdown in four plays
just 1:22 later.
The Mustangs got their last score with 7:23 to go.
"This was our best effort," Hoover Coach Rob Swartz said. "Obviously,
Muir out-athleted us, but we hustled, pursued and beat them in the second
Though Muir led, 21-0, at halftime, Hoover outscored Muir, 22-14, in
the last 24 minutes.
The Tornadoes got another big game from Armond Esmaili. The junior
running back produced his team's most yards, collecting 110 in 27
carries. Esmaili scored from five yards out.
"Armond had a couple of good runs tonight," Swartz said. "He showed me
that he can accelerate through the holes and run with his shoulder down."
Hoover platooned quarterbacks again, and it seemed to work. Senior
Robert Kurtz got the start, but he switched off with normal starter
Marvin Serrano in the second half.
Each threw a touchdown pass to Jamal Kendrick, who led all receivers
with seven catches for 82 yards.
However, the Mustangs' quick scores kept the Tornadoes out of the
contest. On three series, Muir needed just four plays to get into the end
Muir sophomore running back Ian Bell ended one of those drives with a
75-yard scoring run. Bell evaded Hoover defenders, found the holes and
rushed 11 times for 129 yards, plus another touchdown.
The Mustangs' 6-foot-6 quarterback Ryan O'Hara kept his offense
balanced, as he threw for two touchdowns. O'Hara finished 13 of 22 passes
for 176 yards.