Diablos Still Dominating
Instead of San Clemente punctuating its arrival as one of the top teams in the Southland on Friday night, top-ranked Mission Viejo used the South Coast League showdown to punctuate its sheer dominance with a convincing 49-7 victory.
Even a gaffe by player-of-the-year candidate Marty Tadman — he fumbled away the opening kickoff — barely caused a ripple of concern on the Diablos’ sideline. San Clemente got the ball on the Mission Viejo 29-yard line but wound up punting from the 48.
Mission Viejo’s defense was in Triton quarterback Cole Bergquist’s face most of the night, and though he was sacked only three times, it seemed like more.
“Aw, man, they are so good,” said a beleaguered Bergquist, who had led San Clemente to five consecutive victories, including impressive wins over Corona Centennial and Santa Ana Foothill.
“They stay with their assignments, they’re well-rounded and execute, they’re big and they’re fast.”
Mission Viejo’s offense was just as physical. The four primary rushers, before the reserves mopped up, combined for 29 carries, 246 yards and three touchdowns, two by sophomore Chane Moline (13 carries, 100 yards) and another by Jed Collins (four carries, 29 yards).
Limitless LancersThe Southern Section Division II championship game will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, and it’s likely Mission Viejo will be there with an eye toward winning a third consecutive title.
The Division VI championship game will be played at 3:30 at the same venue, and there’s a good chance Orange Lutheran will be there, probably playing another undefeated school, Hacienda Heights Los Altos.
If there is a school that can compete with Mission Viejo this year, it might be Orange Lutheran, which is coming off a 63-17 victory over La Palma Kennedy.
“I’ve been coaching 17 years. We’ve played some good teams, and this is the best team we’ve ever played,” said Kennedy Coach Mitch Olson, whose program has played Los Alamitos six times in his tenure. “I’ve seen everybody play . They have no flaw.
“Orange Lutheran handled Santa Ana Mater Dei, and when scores are compared, they’re as good as anyone in the county. Anybody would be hard-pressed to beat them.”
Against common opponents, Orange Lutheran defeated Mater Dei by 21 points and Marina by 20; Mission Viejo defeated Mater Dei by 11 and Marina by 26.
Said Anthony Vernaglia, Orange Lutheran’s Notre Dame-bound linebacker: “I’d like to play Mission Viejo just to see how we stack up against a team that’s recognized as great. I’m curious to see how it would go.”
Generous DonationSanta Ana quarterback Felix Munoz, who collapsed Oct. 9 in a game against Westminster and had brain surgery to relieve a blood clot, is now resting at home in good condition.
The school received many calls and letters of support, Athletic Director Frank Alvarado said, but nothing like the $1,000 cash donation from boosters at La Palma Kennedy, who took a collection during the game against Anaheim Loara on Oct. 23.
“They raised a very generous amount,” Alvarado said.
And Kennedy doesn’t even play Santa Ana.
Coach Olson said the idea was hatched by Wendy Loveless, mother of kicker Scott Loveless.
“I think everyone would help if they really thought about it,” Olson said. “You feel for anybody who’s going through what that family is going through.”
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