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Mission Viejo wins passing tournament on final play
MISSION VIEJO - For a generation of high schoolers raised on electronic football simulations, the annual Mission Viejo 7-on-7 Passing Tournament and Lineman Competition is the closest they’ll get all year to putting up Madden-like numbers.
After averaging 43 points in three victories in pool play, Mission Viejo cruised past Villa Park, 45-32, in the semifinals before eking out a final-play, 46-45 victory over Crespi of Encino in the championship game on Saturday afternoon at Mission Viejo High.
“All this tournament does is give kids the experience of playing against other good kids,” Diablos coach Bob Johnson said. “It’s great for the kids, but it doesn’t have anything to do with what goes on in the fall.”
Led by junior quarterback Ian Fieber and two-way star Max Redfield, Mission Viejo scored on every one of its seven possessions in the semifinals, highlighted by a trio of long Fieber-to-Redfield touchdowns.
In the other semifinal, Crespi edged Crenshaw by a point to advance.
After a Redfield touchdown grab gave the Diablos a 20-13 lead late in the first half, the teams exchanged scores before the break as Mission Viejo clung to a seven-point lead.
Touchdowns on consecutive possessions to open the second half gave Crespi its second lead of the game at 32-27.
A Diablos touchdown followed by a Crespi touchdown set the score at 38-34 with Mission Viejo facing a critical fourth-and-goal.
On the play, Fieber connected with Redfield for the third time as the hosts regained the lead, 40-38.
Yet, as it’d done each time in the second half, Crespi responded to a Mission Viejo score with one of its own and seized a five-point advantage.
On the final possession of the game, Fieber drove the Diablos down to the 15-yard line with enough time remaining for one play.
The junior dropped back and threw a bullet in between three defenders to a crossing Tom Manning for the game-winning touchdown.
In addition to winning the passing tournament, Mission Viejo claimed the Lineman Challenge.