So much for that Turkey Day hangover the Mission High School football team was supposed to have in 2012.
After an underwhelming nonleague slate the, the Bears reinforced their claim as defending Academic Athletic Association champions with a convincing 46-13 road win over Lowell in each team’s league opener.
Mission (2-2, 1-0) racked up 509 yards, scored two defensive touchdowns and got another standout performance from senior quarterback Antoine Porter.
Porter had 260 yards and three touchdowns through the air on 12-of-20 passing, along with a game-high 104 rushing yards and another touchdown on just 10 carries.
“In the beginning he wasn’t following through and he was under-throwing a little bit, but he’s just a playmaker,” Mission coach Joe Albano said. “It’s fun to watch.”
The Bears jumped out to a 12-0 lead quickly in the first quarter, then hit an offensive lull in the second and only held a 12-6 lead at the half.
Then Porter went to work.
On the first drive of the third quarter, he connected with fellow senior Armani McFarland for a 50-yard score, then he hit wide receiver Demitrius Thibeaux with two touchdown passes on the first two drives of the fourth quarter to cap a run of 27 consecutive Mission points.
“We let up on them a little bit, thinking it would be easy because we ran through the first quarter 12-0,” Porter said. “We had to realize that they came out here to play just like we do.”
Porter’s favorite target was Thibeaux, who caught five passes for 107 yards, but the most encouraging sight for the Bears was the production of McFarland.
After being hampered for much of the nonleague season by an ankle injury, the talented transfer from Riordan ran for 94 yards on nine carries, had three receptions for 80 yards and returned a Lowell fumble 53 yards for a score in the third quarter.
“That was part of the plan, to get him feeling good about himself and letting him know he’s part of this team,” Albano said. “I know he can contribute and he plays a big part.”
Lowell struggled to hold down the Mission offense, but moved the ball relatively well with its double-wing rushing attack.
The Cardinals had three players with 50 yards or more on the ground, led by 71 from senior running back William Kim.