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  • Tyler Harden

San Clemente wins conference championship with game-winning field goal over Mission Viejo

Photo Credit: Allen J. Schaben (Los Angeles Times)

SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA— The Mission Viejo vs. San Clemente rivalry is arguably one of the biggest rivalries in Southern California High School Football. However, this game came with a lot to lose, as the winner would walk away with a South Coast League Championship. Both teams come in with their fair share of Division 1 talent, and they both have a hard-hitting, physical mentality.

The Mission Viejo Diablos came into the game undefeated at 4-0, and are led by wide receiver and California signee, Mavin Anderson, and linebacker and Oregon State signee, Easton Mascarenas. But the San Clemente Tritons were right there with them in the ranks, also coming into the game at 4-0, and led by running back and Arizona signee, James Bohls. With all that was on the line, and the surplus of talent in the game, the Mission Viejo vs. San Clemente rivalry did not disappoint.

It took a while for both teams to make any noise to start the first quarter. But James Bohls was the first to break the ice for San Clemente with a long run to the Mission Viejo 35-yard line. But Mission Viejo put a stop to their momentum at the end of the first quarter. Safety, Ruben Lopez, intercepted a pass and gave the offense the ball at their own 25-yard line. The first quarter ended with both teams yet to get on the board.

The San Clemente defense then made an impact to start the second quarter, as a fumble recovery gave the Tritons the ball. But Mission Viejo didn’t let them get in the end zone, and forced them to punt. The Diablo offense took advantage, as quarterback, Kadin Semonza, completed a 40-yard deflected pass to Mikey Matthews for the first touchdown of the game (PAT good). The first half then ended with Mission Viejo up 7-0.

The second half also started off slow, but Kadin Semonza broke the silence with a long pass to Mikey Matthews to their own 35-yard line. But the San Clemente defense forced a turnover on downs, and took over in Mission Viejo territory. After a long pass that brought the Tritons to the 22-yard line, James Bohls finished off the drive with a 22-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7 (PAT good). This brought the end of the third quarter.

Mission Viejo started the fourth quarter with a missed field goal, but San Clemente couldn’t convert and was forced to punt. Kadin Semonza was able to find Jackson Holman for a long pass to bring the Diablos to the San Clemente 20-yard line. They weren’t able to get in the end zone, and were forced to attempt another field, but missed once again.

James Bohls took over for San Clemente when the offense got the ball back. The Arizona-bound running back put the Tritons in position to win the game with a 40-yard run to the Mission Viejo 34-yard line. But how the Tritons would win, is by an attempted 25-yard field goal by Sean Harry. Harry made the field goal to win the game 10-7, and San Clemente ended their unexpected, spring season in such an exciting way.

The Tritons end their season 5-0, and will likely finish as one of the top teams not only in Southern California, but the entire state. Mission Viejo suffers their first loss of the season, and ends their season with a record of 4-1.

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