By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
PASADENA – The Victory Bell isn’t going anywhere.
Muir saw to that Thursday night at the Rose Bowl.
Joshua Muema-Washington threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns and the Mustangs held Pasadena to 72 yards and three first downs to score their 14th consecutive victory in the annual Turkey Tussle, this one 37-7 over the Bulldogs in a Pacific League game.
Muir, also getting 72 yards receiving and a touchdown from senior Lamarr McDaniels, improved to 7-2 overall and 7-0 in league. The Mustangs, who lead the series 40-17-2, likely will be the No. 4 seed in the Southeast Division when the CIF-Southern Section releases its playoff pairings on Sunday.
Pasadena, which scored on a 79-yard interception return by Brian Williams, finished 1-9 and 1-6.
Muir, which had 348 yards in total offense, blocked two punts, one for a touchdown, and put the game away with two second-half touchdown passes from Muema-Washington.
But for a brief moment, Pasadena looked like it might shock the West Valley, taking a 7-3 lead late in the first half when Williams stepped in front of a Muema-Washington pass and returned it 79 yards for a score with 5:15 left in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, who were held to 29 yards and one first down in the first 24 minutes, it was their only highlight of the night.
The half was dominated by Muir, which quickly responded for a 17-7 lead at halftime.
The Mustangs followed the interception return with a 58-yard scoring drive to take the lead for good.
Muema-Washington set up the go-ahead score with a 23-yard completion to McDaniels at the Pasadena 28 before throwing six yards to Mark Samuels to the 9.
Tyshawn Goodwin followed with runs of 4 and 5 yards for the 10-7 lead with 1:16 left.
Dejon Williams then set up Muir for its final score of the half by blocking a punt at the Bulldogs’ 24 with 15 seconds to play.
A pass interference penalty moved it to the 12 with 11 seconds remaining before Muema-Washington pushed the lead to 17-7 with a 12-yard pass to Samuels with seven seconds left.
The Mustangs led 3-0 after the first quarter after getting a 29-yard field from Jorge Castro to cap their opening drive with 7:45 left.
Pasadena had two scoring chances during the first two quarters, each after forcing turnovers.
But the Bulldogs had a three-out at its 27 after recovering a fumble late in the first quarter, and failed to get a first down after Alfred Robinson returned an interception 14 yards to the Muir 31.
McDaniels ended the chance with a sack at the 39 on a fourth and five at the 26.
Here’s a brief recap of Thursday’s other games
Arroyo 28, Gabrielino 0 — Peter Aholoka threw for 200 yards and four touchdowns as the visiting Knights locked down the Mission Valley League’s final playoff spot. Gabrielino, which finished the regular season 7-3, can still gain entry as an at-large team.
Rosemead 35, Mountain View 28 — Steven San Miguel had two key receptions in the fourth quarter, including the game winner with 1:49 and the visting Panthers likely ended their season with a victory. Rosemead is still eligible for an at-large entry to next week’s playoffs.