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Photos by Alan Gibby/Zone57

Story by Zach Cavanagh

With three seconds remaining, the San Clemente football team was staring down the barrel of a three-game losing streak–after a season-opening three-game winning streak as Murrieta Valley lined up for a potential game-winning field goal.

San Clemente had finally overcome some of its offensive woes, but it would be all for naught if Murrieta Valley came into Thalassa Stadium and snatched the win away from the Tritons.

Murrieta Valley lined up the kick and followed through, but it was San Clemente that pulled out the bit of hometown magic.

Jack Demora got a hand on the Murrieta Valley field goal attempt as time expired, and San Clemente held on for the victory, 21-20, to break a two-game losing streak on Friday, Sept. 24 at San Clemente High School.

After eight quarters without reaching the endzone, San Clemente (4-2) scored near the end of the first quarter as Lachlan Van Rosmalen completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Blake Allen to tie the game, 7-7.

Van Rosmalen completed 14 of 24 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Van Rosmalen threw his second touchdown to Reid Kotiranta. Thomas Hartanov led San Clemente with five catches for 84 yards.

Allen ran for 108 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and caught three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. Allen also caught a two-point conversion that put San Clemente ahead by that crucial one point, 21-20, with just under six minutes remaining.

Cole Robertson led San Clemente defensively with 12 total tackles, a team-high seven solo tackles and a sack. Brad Gerken and Nolan Reid each had nine total tackles and five solo tackles. Reid also recorded a tackle for loss.

San Clemente is back in action at home on Friday, Oct. 1, as the Tritons host Loyola of Los Angeles. Loyola (5-1) is ranked No. 20 in the CIF-SS by calpreps.com and is coming off a 34-31 win against Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. This will be Loyola’s first game against Orange County competition since losing the 2019 CIF-SS Division 4 title game to San Juan Hills. San Clemente is ranked No. 31 in the CIF-SS by calpreps.com.

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