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Mission Viejo pounds Tesoro with wave of big plays
LAS FLORES – Let the record state that Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson does not like that his football team was placed in Division 1.
But if there is one public school that looks like it could succeed against the division filled with powerful private-school programs, it’s his team.
The second-ranked Diablos made a statement in their South Coast League opener against Tesoro on Friday night.
Colin Schooler produced 204 total yards and four touchdowns as Mission Viejo shut out the eighth-ranked Titans, 41-0, on Friday night at Tesoro High.
The senior ran for 171 yards on 14 carries. He made two catches, both for touchdowns, and he had three tackles for a loss.
“I feel like we’re preparing a lot for playoffs, but there’s been a couple of games where we didn’t play a complete football game,” Schooler said. “To do well (in Division 1), we have to play complete games, and that’s what we’re working on right now.”
While the Diablos defense dominated, Mission Viejo’s offense was suspect in the first half. The Diablos went 0 for 3 on third down, and quarterback Matthew McDonald had only one completion at the break.
The saving grace was that of Mission Viejo’s three first-down plays, two of them went for touchdowns.
McDonald’s lone completion of the half went to Olaijah Griffin for a 36-yard touchdown.
Mission Viejo’s fourth possession lasted one play. Schooler took a handoff, made one cut to his right, and he sprinted down the far sideline for a 75-yard touchdown.
“Never please coaches, right?” Johnson was able to joke after a win. “We were not happy in the first half with our offense. We were up by three touchdowns, and we could have had two others.”
The Diablos led, 20-0, at halftime.
Mission Viejo came into the game allowing 17.2 points per game. For a while, it appeared its defense would not allow that many yards.
The Diablos won the battle at the line of scrimmage and rallied to the football on defense. At the end of the first quarter, Tesoro running back Graeden Sharpe had carried the ball six times for a loss of 13 yards.
When the Titans put the ball in the air, tight coverage was applied by Griffin and Akili Arnold.
Mission Viejo transfer Aaron Angelos drew the start at quarterback for Tesoro. Griffin picked off his former teammate on his first pass of the night, and he returned it 30 yards for the game’s first points.
“I was watching him the whole time, and I just made a big play on him,” Griffin said. “After that, I just had to tell him, ‘Hey, this is what you get.’”
Andrew Cohen had 1½ sacks and four tackles for a loss for Tesoro.