By Steve Breazeale
For in-game updates, scores, news and more for all of the San Clemente High School fall sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.
Runners Finish in Top-10 at OC Championships
The San Clemente boys and girls cross country teams both earned top-10 finishes at the Orange County Championships at Irvine Regional Park on Oct. 15.
The girls team competed in the high-profile varsity sweeps race and placed ninth. Junior Chandler Horton placed 15th overall with a time of 17:53.7. Horton’s performance earned her All-County honorable mention at the race. Katelyn McNeal placed 53rd and Marina McDonough placed 54th.
The boys team placed 10th in the Division 2 race. The team was led by senior Carlos de Jesus’ fifth-place finish. He posted a time of 15:42.2.
Both the cross country teams will head to the Mt. SAC Invitational meet on Oct. 22.
Defense Powers Tritons to Big Win Over Tesoro
One would have to go back three weeks to find the last time the San Clemente football team’s defense allowed a touchdown. The Tritons’ defensive players are in lock-step, and have kept the door shut on opposing teams trying to find the end zone.
They continued that trend on the road against Tesoro in a dominating 41-3 South Coast League victory on Oct. 14.
The Tritons (5-2, 1-0 league) were all over the Tesoro (4-4, 0-2) aerial attack on Friday night, and recorded four interceptions in the first half. Three of those interceptions came in the first quarter, and San Clemente turned them into 17 points.
San Clemente has not allowed a touchdown in its last 10 quarters of play.
After San Clemente quarterback Jack Sears staked his team to a 7-0 lead on a blistering 67-yard touchdown run, junior safety Jack Shippy intercepted Tesoro starter Chase Petersen and returned it 75 yards the other way for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Shippy, a transfer from JSerra who was playing in his first game for the Tritons, had two takeaways on the night.
Senior Austin Moore deflected a Petersen pass on the Titans next drive, and it fell into the hands of junior linebacker Riley Croft for the interception. That set up a Triton scoring drive, which ended with a 38-yard touchdown run by Brandon Reaves.
Senior cornerback Branden Wilson intercepted Petersen less than one minute later and the Tritons capitalized when Tristan Trager kicked home his first of two 20-yard field goals on the night.
“I liked the way we played defense, we swarmed the ball really well and got those four turnovers in the first half,” San Clemente head coach Jaime Ortiz said. “It’s a brand new defense I put in this year … They’ve really picked that up and kind of made a statement.”
With the defense not allowing anything, Sears kept the offense humming. The Duke commit completed 16 of 25 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 98 yards on seven carries.
Sears’ favorite target was receiver Keith Jones, who reeled in 11 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. The two connected for five passes and 68 yards on a scoring drive that ended with Jones corralling a tipped pass as he walked into the end zone to make it 31-0.
Reaves broke off a 50-yard touchdown run to start the second half and put the game firmly out of reach.
The win was a big one for San Clemente, who will host San Juan Hills (6-2, 1-1) on Oct. 21.
Tritons Golf Defends League Title
The San Clemente girls golf team split the South Coast League title with Dana Hills and Trabuco Hills. The Tritons, who won the league title outright last season, swept Tesoro in back-to-back matches on Oct. 10 and Oct. 13 to secure a tie for first place.
Olivia French, Aria Dalkas, Mariana Gandia-Mark and Erica Cornelius will represent San Clemente (8-5, 6-2) in the upcoming CIF-SS Individual Championships.
Tennis Team Topples Dolphins
Strong play from singles players helped power the San Clemente girls tennis team past rival Dana Hills 10-8 in a South Coast League match on Oct. 13.
The Tritons’ singles players captured seven of a possible nine points against the Dolphins to secure the win.
San Clemente’s victory over the Dolphins evens the season series between the two teams, which now own matching 5-1 records in league play. Dana Hills defeated San Clemente on Sept. 27.