Three of those mistakes resulted in 17 third-quarter points for University, allowing the Trojans to take a 45-28 lead.

Estancia missed on three chances to recover quarterback fumbles.

CdM junior Luke Napolitano has punted well the past two weeks.

  • Related

During the stretch, he has pinned the opposition deep in its own end three times. He is averaging 42.4 yards in his last nine punts.

His two longest punts have gone 60 and 54 yards.

Despite its sub-.500 start after five games, its eighth out of the last nine seasons, Costa Mesa has posted a combined scoring advantage of 103-80 over its opponents this season.

The Mustangs have been outscored, 52-18, in their three combined losses, but have dominated Santiago (45-14) and Los Amigos (40-14) in their two victories.

While Sage Hill was defeated by The Bishop's, 48-13, Tolver said the team remains optimistic.

He said a handful of injuries to key players have factored into the first 0-5 start in the program's history. The small school doesn't have much depth.

Tolver reminded his team that he has been in this situation before as a player.

"In my senior year of college [2002], we started 0-5 and we ended up [tied for] third in [the Mountain West Conference] that year," Tolver said. "We finished well. Everybody wants to win. Our long-term goal is to win the Academy League. We can go 2-8 and still make the [CIF Southern Section East Valley Division] playoffs. We just have to finish in the top two in [a four-team] league. Guys are upbeat."

Tolver said the team has something to build on after the latest setback.

"We scored on the last play and that's encouraging," Tolver said of the 11-yard touchdown pass from Harrison Ray to receiver Beau Roth.

The Lightning play Flintridge Prep of La Canada (1-3) at Occidental College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Costa Mesa fans could be heard chanting "L, O, D" when the Mustangs' defense is on the field. It's an acronym for Legion of Doom, a nickname for the defense coined by Grant.

— From staff reports