ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA : Tritons’ Defense Steals the Show in 38-15 Victory : High schools: San Clemente’s no-huddle offense rolls up yards and points, but defense shuts down Foothill.
Much has been made of the rapid-fire, no-huddle offense employed by San Clemente this season.
And Friday night was no exception. The high-scoring Tritons passed over, ran circles around, and when needed, ran through Foothill, in their nonleague victory in front of about 1,200 spectators at Tustin High.
But it was the play of San Clemente’s often overlooked defense that stole the show in the surprisingly easy, 38-15, victory.
“All year long I’ve been saying that the defense is the main part of our team,” San Clemente Coach Mark McElroy said, basking in a 3-1 start. “It’s defense that gets you through big games like this.”
The Tritons’ front four was superb. Led by senior defensive end Tyler Wojoiechowski, San Clemente held Foothill running back Tramel Robinson, who rushed for 218 yards and four touchdowns a week ago, to just 44 yards in 10 carries.
Foothill gained 223 total yards, but most of that came in garbage time. The Knights gained just 60 first-half yards as San Clemente built a 21-0 lead. That’s more points than Foothill allowed in all three previous games combined.
“We jammed him. We really took it too him and stuffed those holes up tonight,” Wojoiechowski said. “We stood their offensive line straight up.”
This will go down as an upset, but from the first series it was apparent who was in charge. Fifth-ranked San Clemente marched 75 yards in 15 plays without the benefit of a huddle and took a 7-0 lead over third-ranked Foothill on a six-yard run by Ryan Davis. It was one of three scoring runs Davis, who rushed for 77 yards, would get on the evening.
Davis made it 14-0 with 4 minutes 20 seconds left in the second quarter. Just before the half ended, quarterback Chris Boden passed three-yards to wide receiver Trevor Insley.
If there was a downside for San Clemente, though, it was the loss of the slippery Insley midway through the second half with a possible fractured hand. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays.
Boden, who completed just six of 20 passes a week ago, started off slow and then caught fire. He missed three of his first four pass attempts, then completed eight of his next 10. He finished the game with 17 completions in 27 attempts for 202 yards and the touchdown to Insley.
“It was a great game,” Boden said. “The offense really clicked tonight.”
McElroy was also happy with the offensive effort.
“Our offensive line really did a job tonight, too,” he said.
San Clemente managed 23 first downs and 394 total yards.
“We missed a lot of tackles tonight,” Foothill Coach Tom Meiss said, “but I give San Clemente credit. They surgically removed us from the field. I’m disappointed we didn’t play as well as we should have.”
The Knights sliced the Triton lead to 14 points with 6:27 remaining in the third quarter on a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Lang to Nick Sveslosky.
San Clemente responded, though, scoring 17 consecutive points on a 27-yard field goal from John Fowle, a 40-yard run from Davis and an eight-yard run from reserve running back Chris Hayward.
Sveslosky was the lone bright spot for Foothill on a very dim night. He rushed 10 times for 49 yards, caught the pass for a score and also intercepted a pass.