SVC worn down by Temescal Canyon run game


LAGUNA HILLS – Temescal Canyon running back Brandon Clemons ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns to carry the Titans to their first playoff win since 2012 in a 42-31 victory over Saddleback Valley Christian in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 8 playoffs at Laguna Hills High on Thursday.

Temescal Canyon (5-5-1) will host the Don Lugo-Moreno Valley winner in the second round.

Saddleback Valley Christian, defending CIF-SS East Valley Division champions, jumped up five divisions in the new CIF-SS playoff system but ends its season at 7-4.

After trading the lead four times and finding itself down 19-9 midway through the second quarter, Temescal Canyon flipped the momentum and discovered its key to success: hand the ball to Clemons and run straight ahead.

Clemons got chunks of 20 yards and 11 yards and finished his second TD on an 11-yard run for three-point deficit.

On the next drive, Cade Henjum hit Marc Audet for a big play, but Temescal Canyon forced a fumble and recovered.

Clemons carried the ball twice, a 22-yard run and a 3-yard run, to score and retake the lead 23-19 going into halftime.

An expert pooch punt by Henjum set up Temescal Canyon at its own 1-yard line. The Titans kept the straightforward approach on the ensuing 99-yard drive but mixed in a 33-yard pass from Jaden Gomez to Noah Bojorquez. in takinga 31-19 lead.

Jacob Stepanek scored on a 2-yard run for a 31-19 lead.

SVC responded with an 83-yard drive ending with a 10-yard TD pass from Henjum to Nolan Purdy for a six-point deficit. SVC was driving with a chance to retake the lead, but Bojorquez pulled in an interception in the end zone to end the threat.

Henjum finished 33 of 49 passing for 494 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Henjum also ran for two touchdowns.

Jack Deavila caught 12 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, both in the first half.

Stepanek added a touchdown late for Temescal Canyon to seal the win with a minute and half remaining.

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