The play of wide receiver Anthony Ramirez and the Diablo special teams led Mission Viejo to a 21-13 victory over defending Division I champion Loyola Friday at Mission Viejo High.
Ramirez, a 6-0, 165-pound senior, scored on touchdown pass plays of 65 and 74 yards. His second touchdown, on a option pass from reserve running back Adrian Amposta with 2:59 left, sealed the season-opening victory for the Diablos.
Four plays earlier, Loyola, trailing, 14-13, had a chance to take the lead. John Stonehouse lined up for a 36-yard field goal, but the snap was fumbled by holder Charles Smith.
A bad snap had cost Loyola a chance to tie in the third quarter. Michael Brown scored on a 16-yard run with 6:10 left to cut the margin to one, but the extra-point was never attempted when the ball bounced away from Smith.
Mission Viejo had taken a 14-7 lead early in the third quarter on a Payson LeMeilleur to Ramirez pass. LeMeilleur, who shared quarterback duties with Jeff Carr, completed 5 of 6 passes for 118 yards.
Loyola was led by quarterback Clelio Boccato, who completed 14 of 24 passes for 163 yards. His five-yard pass to Darren Jenkins in the second quarter enabled the Cubs to tie the game, 7-7.
Mission Viejo opened the scoring at 2:22 of the first quarter when Deron Drake, a transfer from Sonora, went over from the five-yard line.