A year ago, the Mission Hills Bishop Alemany offense was so uncertain with its many freshman and sophomore players that the Clausen brothers, Casey and Rick, former quarterbacks in the SEC, did something they had never done before as high school coaches in an opening game — they elected to call a run play.
“In the 12 years we’ve been together, we’ve never had a run play on the first play,” said Casey, the head coach.
With junior quarterback Miller Moss a year older and wiser, the Alemany offense was turned loose on Friday night in a season opener against Sandy (Utah) Jordan.
From the first play, a 25-yard reception by sophomore Kevin Green Jr., the Warriors made it clear that year 2 under the Clausens is going to be about putting playmakers in position to make big plays.
Moss passed for 248 yards and five touchdowns in a 62-36 victory. There were few time-consuming drives. It was all about letting Alemany’s athletes create scoring opportunities.
Green caught four passes for 89 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown. Junior DJ Justice, a transfer from San Diego Cathedral Catholic and the son of former major leaguer David Justice, had touchdown catches of 40 and 80 yards. Another receiver, Deonce Caldwell, caught touchdown passes of seven and 37 yards and also blocked a punt.
“They played great,” Moss said of the receivers. “It’s perfect for me. I can go anywhere, any time.”
Perhaps most encouraging for Alemany was the defense being effective in stopping the run and applying pressure to Jordan quarterback Kadius Fuimaono. Contributing sacks were Jshawn Frausto-Ramos, Khai Redd and Corey Neal. Kale Wakley of Jordan caught two touchdown passes.
The Warriors showed off plenty of speed too. Jaylin Smith returned a kickoff for a touchdown and running back Damario Strong ran 61 yards for a touchdown. But Alemany also struggled with penalties — 14 to be precise.
“They’re growing up,” said Rick Clausen, the team’s offensive coordinator. “Last year we were young and trying to figure out things. They’ve earned the right to open up the playbook.”
Casey Clausen, who helped turn around the Calabasas program, understands what it’s going to take to return Alemany to Division 1 in the coming years after being in Division 3 this season.
“Run the ball and stop the run,” he said.
The Warriors are headed to Gilbert, Ariz., next week to play Higley. The temperature in Gilbert was 108 degrees on Friday. In other words, prepare for desert heat.
In other openers, Pasadena defeated Panoroma City St. Genevieve 28-7 and Huntington Beach Edison defeated Wailuku (Hawaii) Baldwin 52-0.
DJ Justice with TD. Alemany 13, Utah Jordan 7. 3:43 left in first. pic.twitter.com/081HTp0SQQ— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) August 17, 2019