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Rodriguez stars in San Juan Hills rout
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Playing in front of the packed house of homecoming night is not for the faint of heart.
So when San Juan Hills junior Matt Rodriguez found out that he would make his first career start at quarterback, he knew there was nowhere to hide.
Rodriguez was up to the task, throwing for 249 yards and three touchdowns as the Stallions rolled past Huntington Beach, 38-6, Friday in a nonleague game at San Juan Hills High.
“I hadn’t started for the first four games of the season, and I just thought that it would be a great way to come out and show what I can do,” Rodriguez said of his performance.
All three of Rodriguez’s touchdowns went to Jacob Huff, who reeled in 10 receptions for 119 yards.
“He’s a quick receiver that I know I can get the ball to,” Rodriguez said. “He likes to get up, and so I like to get him the ball.”
Cayden McCluskey added six catches for 83 yards for the Stallions (4-1). Quinn Ginieczki produced 84 rushing yards on 12 carries.
San Juan Hills celebrated the school’s decade-long existence with the theme, “10 Marvel-ous Years,” and there were certainly some superhero showings turned in by the Stallions.
Among them, San Juan Hills’ defense. The Stallions gained 15 first downs to the Oilers’ one in the first half, helping San Juan Hills to a 24-0 halftime lead.
Cameron Buchanan had two interceptions and Austin Gifford had another. Noah Edgerton and McCluskey recorded sacks.
“Our defense has been pretty strong, especially against the run all year,” Stallions coach Aaron Flowers said. “I think that they were good at that again tonight, but then we made some plays in the secondary and got some turnovers.”
As a result, the Stallions started six drives in Oilers territory.
In the fourth quarter, Nick Welch broke a 29-yard run on a fourth-down conversion to help key a 73-yard scoring drive for the Oilers (2-3).
Derek Thomas had two sacks for Huntington Beach. Jonah Apelu and Sam Melvin each had one.
San Juan Hills is at Great Oak of Temecula next week. Huntington Beach has a bye.