Diablo of a Time for Poly
Mission Viejo took on the team expected to provide it with its biggest challenge on Friday night, but Long Beach Poly hardly caused the Diablos to blink on their way to a runaway 41-14 nonleague victory at Long Beach Cabrillo.
Chane Moline rushed for 200 yards in 20 carries, quarterback Mark Sanchez had three touchdown passes and Mission Viejo’s defense forced four turnovers and had four sacks.
The Diablos (4-0), ranked No. 1 in the state by Cal-High Sports, did not punt until less than two minutes remained in the game.
Nick Reed recovered a fumble on the Mission Viejo 41-yard line to end Poly’s first drive and sacked Theo Scott to put a halt to the second.
Mission Viejo followed its second defensive stop by marching 85 yards in nine plays to take a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Moline’s 57-yard run was the big play of the drive, putting the ball at the Jackrabbit eight. The Diablos scored two plays later on a five-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to Brett Alvarez.
Moline scored his second touchdown on a two-yard run with 1:54 left in the first half. He set up his touchdown with runs of 28 and six yards.
The Jackrabbits (3-1), No. 2 in the state, committed two turnovers in the first half, but those didn’t hurt as much as six penalties for 50 yards.
A late hit along the sideline moved Mission Viejo past midfield on its second touchdown drive and a holding call nullified a 34-yard reception by tight end Raymond Sholes late in the first half.
Poly failed to capitalize on Mission Viejo’s only turnover, a botched snap from center that was picked up by William Alo and returned 38 yards to the Diablo 17 with 14 seconds left in the half. But the Jackrabbits threw an incomplete pass, then missed a 33-yard field goal attempt as time expired.
Poly tried its luck with an on-side kick to open the second half, but Mission Viejo recovered it, then marched 49 yards in seven plays, taking a 21-0 lead on an eight-yard touchdown reception by tight end Konrad Reuland.
The Jackrabbits scored on their next possession, moving the ball 60 yards in eight plays and scoring on a 24-yard pass from Scott to Terrence Austin with three minutes left in the third quarter. Scott, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 164 yards, completed all five of his passes on the drive.
The Diablos quickly answered as Sanchez found Sean Fitzgerald in the end zone with a 15-yard pass on fourth and goal, giving Mission Viejo a 28-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“Our offense played great in the second half,” said Sanchez, who was nine of 19 for 139 yards with no interceptions. “And our defense played great in the first half.”
The game was delayed 15 minutes late in the fourth quarter when Poly defensive lineman Daniel Imoesiri suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury at the end of a 38-yard run by Moline. Imoesiri was taken from the field by ambulance to Long Beach Memorial hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.