San Juan Hills prevails as defense adjusts


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – San Juan Hills and Trabuco Hills took off in a first-quarter sprint, but the Stallions won the marathon, 47-14, in the South Coast League opener for both teams at San Juan Hills High on Friday night.

Trabuco Hills quarterback Tommy Germain and Stallions quarterback Matt Rodriguez dueled in the first quarter, each connecting for two touchdown passes.

But the rest was a struggle for the Mustangs (2-5, 0-1) against San Juan Hills’ aggressive defense. After completing his first three passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns, Germain was held to 28 yards passing the rest of the way and was intercepted three times.

“There’s times the kids need to see it in live action,” Stallions coach Aaron Flowers said. “From there they can make their adjustments. The first two series were like that for us.”

Rodriguez and Germain each threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter. Germain’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Rennon Misiuk gave the Mustangs a 14-12 lead.

Then the defense kicked in for San Juan Hills. Stallions cornerback Jack Swift picked off Germain twice in the second quarter, the second leading to the go-ahead touchdown. In between those plays, Trabuco Hills’ Nick Friedman intercepted Rodriguez.

Rodriguez put the Stallions ahead with a 1-yard TD run and hit Cayden McCluskey for a 21-yard score right before halftime, giving San Juan Hills (6-1, 1-0) a 26-14 lead.

McCluskey hauled in two TD passes and led all receivers with 94 yards. Jacob Huff added 73 yards and a TD.

“They’re great receivers ... we want to get the ball to them often,” Rodriguez said.

Brock Cazel, Quinn Ginieczki and Brady Bjorkman each ran for TDs for the Stallions in the second half. Jake Cuero rushed for 98 yards for the Mustangs.

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