LA MIRADA >> There will be no repeat CIF State title for the La Mirada High School football team.Jack Carmichael rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns and Edison gave coach Dave White a nice retiring gift with a 44-24 victory over the Matadores in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 title game Friday night at La Mirada High School.Griffin O’Connor accounted for 290 yards and three touchdowns for the Chargers, who improved to 13-1 and advanced to next week’s state regional bowls. It’s Edison’s sixth CIF-SS title.Tristan Meyer threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns and Nick Hernandez rushed for 162 yards for La Mirada, which finished 11-3.Edison appeared to clinch it when Barrett McCade returned an interception 91 yards for a 34-10 lead early in the third quarter. But as La Serna found out two weeks ago in the quarterfinals, the Matadores are never out of a game.La Mirada again proved the point, scoring on consecutive drives to cut the deficit to 34-24 going into the fourth quarter.
Meyer tossed 13 yards to Jeremy Clark to cut it to 34-18 with 4:30 left in the third quarter before the Matadores recovered an onside kick and cut it to 34-24 with a 19-yard pass to Clark at 3:15.
La Mirada, after Edison’s Jack Morrell made it 37-24 with a 30-yard field goal early in the fourth, drove inside the Chargers’ 10, but Meyer misfired on consecutive passes to turn it over on downs with less than five minutes left.
O’Connor followed with a 90-yard pass to David Atencio before scoring on a 5-yard run to put it away at 44-24 with just over three minutes to play.
Edison led 28-10 at halftime.
The Chargers gashed the Matadores for 291 yards during the first two quarters and scored four of their seven possessions, including the final three.
They turned a close game into a rout with scoring drives of 66 and 59 yards to lead by 17 at the break.
Carmichael, who rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns in the half, keyed both marches. He had a 72-yard run to the La Mirada 6 before running it in from there for a 21-10 advantage with 2:54 left in the half.
Edison, after stopping La Mirada on five plays to force a punt, finished off the half to go up 28-10. Carmichael had a 25-yard run to the Matadores’ 28. O’Connor then finished it off with consecutive runs of 11 yards for a 18-point lead at halftime.
Both teams opened the game with turnovers. Edison followed a La Mirada fumble with a 64-yard drive and took a 7-0 lead on a 21-yard run by Carmichael at 9:13 of the first quarter.
La Mirada countered with a 75-yard drive that led to a Brandon Petruescu’ 22-yard field for a 7-3 deficit at 3:51.
The teams then traded touchdown drives.
O’Connor, who was 10 of 21 for 96 yards passing in the first half, gave the Chargers a 14-3 lead with a 14-yard pass to EJ Ginnis with 7:31 left in the second quarter.
La Mirada countered with a 65-yard drive. Meyer, who was 12 of 17 for 99 yards in the first half, then tossed 22 yards to Elijah Hicks to the 1. Meyer followed with a 1-yard run to cut it to 14-10 at 3:45.
The Matadores then appeared to recover a fumble at their 34 on the kickoff. But it was later overturned. Edison then scored on its next two drives for a 28-10 lead.
La Mirada coach Mike Moschetti: “We got whooped. We got beat. We got out-coached, didn’t make plays when we had to. Edison’s a good football team. They deserved to win. Congratulations to coach (Dave) White on a great career and going out a winner.”