San Clemente quarterback Nick Billoups embodies what a dual-threat quarterback is all about and even takes it a step further.
The 6-foot-2 senior has the ability to pick apart an opposing defense with his arm or his legs, and is a menace for offenses as well, with his playmaking ability at the cornerback position.
Billoups made sure to show Tesoro just how dangerous he is in an important South Coast League opener, accounting for five touchdowns as he led the Tritons to a 44-28 victory over the Titans.
Billoups threw for two scores, added two on the ground, snatched a pick-six on defense and picked off another pass late in the fourth for good measure.
Billoups had his legs involved in San Clemente’s first touchdown of the night, rushing 25 yards for a score, which was set up by a quarterback strip by Trenton Brail.
He then intercepted a pass by Tesoro quarterback Sean Lindgren at midfield and took it back 49 yards for a score to give the Tritons a 17-7 lead with 6:51 left in the first half.
The San Clemente defense came away with another big turnover on Tesoro’s ensuing possession as Charles Clifford intercepted Lindgren in Titans territory.
Four plays later it was Billoups again who found the end zone for the third time on a one-yard run to give the Tritons a 24-7 advantage at the 3:49 mark of the second.
Tesoro didn’t go down quietly, despite trailing 31-7 early in the third quarter.
Zach Wran broke off a a 27-yard run to cut the deficit to 31-14 with 2:09 left in the third. Tesoro reduced the San Clemente lead to 31-21 on a one-yard touchdown run from Lindgren early in the fourth.
San Clemente upped its lead again to 38-21 on a 15-yard pass from Billoups to Cole Batson before Tesoro answered with a 50-yard strike from Lindgren to Justin Schafer.
Billoups’ second interception and 34-yard return set up a one-yard touchdown run by James Bohls, giving San Clemente a 44-28 lead with 4:19 to play.
Brail was responsible for two forced fumbles in the first half, the first coming on the opening kickoff as he laid a big hit on a Tesoro returner, resulting in a 42-yard field goal by Cole Thompson.
Tesoro’s lone score of the first half came on a seven-yard run from Wran at the 3:04 mark of the first quarter. Billoups completed eight of passes for 84 yards and ran for 51 yards. Lindgren finished with 319 yards passing.