Crean Lutheran enjoys its payback victory over CVC


MISSION VIEJO – The excitement in Crean Lutheran’s postgame huddle was palpable.

After back-to-back years of blowout defeats at the hands of Capistrano Valley Christian, revenge was sweet for the Saints.

Tanner Atkinson pounded his way to a four-touchdown night, and Crean Lutheran rolled past Capistrano Valley Christian, 41-21, Thursday night in a nonleague game at Capistrano Valley High.

Crean Lutheran took risks early, converting twice on fourth down. Each led to a first-half touchdown, as the Saints (4-2) looked to set the tone.

“We didn’t come out here to lose,” Saints coach Brett Mertens said. “We were going to go for it on fourth down if we needed to.

“This one is pretty sweet for our guys.”

Garrett Cox rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown. Gavin Folsom threw for 168 yards and a touchdown.

Despite Atkinson’s big night, the Eagles (1-4) hung tough. Following Atkinson’s second score, Ben Sukut had a 58-yard touchdown on an end-around down the left side that tied the score at 14.

But Atkinson and the Saints’ offensive line kept churning, and the junior running back found the end zone for the third time with nine seconds left in the second quarter.

“I’ve got to give it to my O-line and God,” Atkinson said. “I’ve got Matt Volz, Andrew Ryan, Reagan Schmidt, Austin Heyer, Ben Beavers, Robert Briones and George Vidaurre (blocking for me).”

The Eagles trailed, 20-14, at half. Dylan Baird’s 31-yard touchdown pass from Dawson Piper put Capistrano Valley Christian in front, but that would be it for their offense.

Atkinson scored two minutes later, and Daniel Albright’s 46-yard TD reception doubled the Saints’ lead in the fourth quarter.

Piper finished with a pair of touchdowns, his first going to Daniel Herber. KCI Thompson was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 74 yards.

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