San Clemente dominates Tesoro with tough defense


RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – San Clemente took advantage of four early interceptions to beat Tesoro, 41-3, Friday in a South Coast League game at Tesoro High.

The No. 8 Tritons’ defense held No. 13 Tesoro to just 59 passing yards in the first half on 19 attempts.

Tritons quarterback Jack Sears was efficient through the air and on the ground. The senior was 16 of 25 for 158 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 98 yards on seven attempts.

“He (Sears) makes me a lot better coach. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country and I think he proved it tonight,” Tritons coach Jaime Ortiz said.

Keith Jones was the beneficiary of Sears’ efficiency through the air. The junior receiver caught 11 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Midway through the first quarter, Sears broke the scoreless tie with a 67-yard touchdown run to give the Tritons (5-2, 1-0) a 7-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive, Jack Shippy returned an interception for a 75-yard touchdown to give San Clemente a 14-0 lead.

After a Branden Wilson interception, Brandon Reaves ran for a 38-yard touchdown on his first rushing attempt of the game to extend the lead to 21-0. Reaves rushed for 87 yards on just five attempts.

“Brandon (Reaves) and Jack (Sears) are two of the biggest weapons in Orange County. It was nice to see them perform,” Ortiz said.

Sears threw his lone touchdown pass on the last offensive play of the first half, a 38-yard pass to Jones.

Tesoro (4-4 overall) is 0-2 in league play for the first time since 2009.

Tesoro struggled offensively, but it put drives together in the second half. Hunter Cifuentes replaced Chase Petersen at quarterback midway through the second quarter. Cifuentes threw for 144 yards and led the Titans to the red zone three times.

San Clemente snapped a three-game losing streak against Tesoro. The Tritons host San Juan Hills on Friday.

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