By Jim Shilander
Mission Viejo showed why it’s one of the top ranked teams in the state Friday, advantage of nearly every San Clemente mistake and making nearly every big play on the way to a 45-7 victory at Thalassa Stadium.
The Diablos scored on their first possession, following a Triton fumble on the game’s second play. Alex Suchesk went in from 2 yards to complete the 61 yard drive. Following a Triton three-and-out, it took just four plays for the Diablos to score again, this time on a 39-yard strike from Ian Fieber to Sean Modster.
Unfortunately for the Tritons, it didn’t get any easier, as Sean Donnelly threw the first of five interceptions on the next drive . Fieber again connected for a score, this time with Frank Schnicker. Another Donnelly interception then led to another Diablos score to begin the second quarter, as Marcus Collins scored from 7 yards for a 28-0 lead. Fieber would throw two more touchdowns in the quarter, one a 69-yard strike, the other from 15 yards.
The Tritons would have to wait until the third quarter to get on the scoreboard. Linebacker Ryan Alvarez picked off the Fieber’s final pass of the game and returned it 50 yards for a score. As the third quarter drew to a close, the Tritons appeared to be driving for an offensive score that would have cut the Diablo lead to 45-13, but Donnelly’s pass was intercepted at the 3-yard line.
The Mission Viejo defense made it difficult for the Triton offense to gain any sort of traction. The Tritons were held to 13 yards on the ground for the night, and only managed 109 yards through the air, which included a tipped ball caught for nine yards by offensive lineman Jacob Bryson. In contrast, the Diablos featured a balanced attack, rushing for 224 yards, and Fieber throwing for 26.
With the loss, the Tritons drop to 4-4 on the season, and 0-2. They are off next week and will next play at Tesoro October 26.