Capistrano Valley's Noah Valdez is surrounded by a sea of San Clemente defenders along the San Clemente sidelines on a completed pass play during Friday's game at Capistrano Valley High.

San Clemente overwhelms Capo Valley


MISSION VIEJO – Quick- strike offense and a strong defensive front were good enough to propel San Clemente to a 42-6 victory over Capistrano Valley in the teams’ Sea View League opener Friday at Capistrano Valley High.

Despite employing just three down linemen, the Tritons disguised pressure from one of its four linebackers all night. Defensive end Liam Buhl was the benefactor, recording five sacks for 22 yards as Cougars quarterback Kevin Brown faced pressure during most of his drop backs.

“Bringing some pressure on the ends made a difference,” Jaime Ortiz said. “Liam had a heck of a game. It was good to see that defense get pressure and play well.”

Offensively, San Clemente (5-2, 1-0) used the defensive momentum for quick touchdowns. Three of the Tritons’ six TD drives were two plays or less.

But despite the lopsided win, Ortiz said there are still improvements to be made. The Tritons, who have a bye next week, fumbled the ball away twice and the offense sputtered in the second quarter.

“We had too many penalties, mistakes and a couple turnovers,” Ortiz said. “Our kids learned that we have to play cleaner than that. Every game in league will be competitive.”

Brandon Reaves capped San Clemente opening possession with a 2-yard rushing touchdown. After a fumble recovery by Isaac Rex on the Cougars’ third play from scrimmage, Jack Sears hit Liam Eldridge for a 50-yard score, one of two long TDs for Eldridge.

Midway through the second quarter, a 66-yard punt return by Reaves set up a 13-yard score by Vlad Dzhabiyev. Reaves’ second TD, a 4-yard run, made it 28-0 at hlaftime.

Tritons defensive back Andrew Frohner intercepted a tipped pass on the Cougars’ opening drive of the second half, which led to Whitsett’s 14-yard score. Sears hit Eldridge later in the quarter to cap the Tritons’ scoring.

Capistrano Valley running back Tyler Waggoner gained 64 yards on 13 carreis. His 21-yard touchdown run put the Cougars (4-3, 0-1) on the board in the third quarter.

Brown finished 16-of-30 passing for 137 yards.

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