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MATT MASIN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Hart's Dominic Carrillo is downed by three Mission Viejo defenders during Friday's CIF-SS West Valley Division playoff opener at Mission Viejo.

Mission Viejo doesn't let Hart slow its momentum

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

MISSION VIEJO – Mission Viejo last played Hart High in 2005, when the Indians upset an undefeated Diablos team in the Division II semifinals.

History didn’t repeat Friday night.

The top-seeded Diablos (11-0) remained undefeated and dominated the Indians, 49-14, in the first round of the West Valley Division playoffs.

“It was a good night,” Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson said after the game.

Mission Viejo sucked the wind out of any upset attempt when Colin Schooler sacked Hart quarterback Justice Provost and forced a fumble in Indians territory three plays into the game. Ryan Dove recovered the fumble and two plays later Isaiah Miller scored on an 8-yard run for a 7-0 lead with 10:34 left in the first.

Mission Viejo scored twice more in the opening period – an 11-yard run by Miller and a 2-yard run by Jacob Clark.

The Indians (7-4) had four three-and-outs and gained just 4 yards in the first. They didn’t reach Mission Viejo territory until Grant Thuente recovered a fumble on the Diablos’ 28-yard line with 3:12 left in the third.

“It was disappointing the way our guys came out very flat like they didn’t want to be here,” Hart coach Mike Herrington said. “And we broke down on all phases: offense, defense, special teams. And you can’t do that against a powerhouse like Mission Viejo.”

Diablos quarterback Brock Johnson played the first three quarters, completing 6 of 14 passes for 105 yards and three touchdowns. He completed a 46-yard touchdown pass to Brenden Schooler, who also returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown to make it 42-0 with 2:39 left in the first half.

Hart, the No. 3 seed from the Foothill League, lost its first- and second-string quarterbacks in the last three weeks of the regular season.

Mission Viejo will host Murrieta Valley, which beat Fountain Valley, 48-7, next Friday in the second round of the playoffs.


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