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San Clemente opens in top form
SAN CLEMENTE - If the San Clemente-West Adams Prep of L.A. football game had been a boxing match, the referee would have probably stepped in and stopped the fight.
That doesn’t happen in high school football, so the Tritons ended up with a lopsided 56-0 victory over West Adams Prep in the nonleague opener for both schools on Friday night at San Clemente High.
The Tritons scored on seven of their first eight plays from scrimmage and Christian Bailey had a 25-yard punt return for a touchdown mixed in to give them a 49-0 lead in the second quarter. There was a running clock from the second quarter on.
“All week long we talked to the kids and said we just need to focus on what we need to do,” new Tritons coach Jaime Ortiz said. “I think we came out and played the way we were supposed to play. It wasn’t the stiff test we expected, but (West Adams Prep) played their hearts out and that’s all we can ask them to do and we played well as well.
"We still got things to work on. We’ll watch film tomorrow and try to get better for next week when we play Cabrillo (of Long Beach)”
San Clemente kicker Bret Miller had no idea entering Friday night’s game that he was on the cusp of something special. He came into the game with a streak of 78 consecutive extra-point attempts without a miss, which was four behind the CIF-SS record.
“No way I was going to tell him,” Miller’s dad, Brian, said. “I didn’t want to jinx him.”
Miller was 8 of 8 on extra-point attempts against the Panthers, giving him a CIF-SS record 86 consecutive extra points.
"I had no idea," Miller said. "I still don’t even know what I just did."
San Clemente had a memorable season in 2011, reaching the CIF-SS Pac-5 finals for the first time since 1979.
Senior Sean Donnelly had a clipboard in his hand all last season, playing behind Travis Wilson at quarterback. He got his first career start and was 3 of 3 with touchdown passes of 33, 51 and 24 yards. He also had a 10-yard rushing touchdown.
Donnelly was pleased with the focus and execution by the offense and how the offensive line stepped up with highly recruited left tackle Sean Harlow sidelined by a sore hip.
"We’re trying to take every team as a faceless opponent," Donnelly said. "That’s our goal here, do what we need to do and don’t take anyone different. Take everyone as hard as you can and do what you can."
Bailey had more than 100 return yards and he caught a 24-yard touchdown pass. Landon Cook had a 51-yard touchdown reception and Ryan Alvarez had a 33-yard touchdown catch. DeAndre James had three carries for 25 yards and two touchdowns. Garrett Fernandez also had a 6-yard touchdown run.
“We’re still a young team and each game it’s going to get tougher and tougher,” Ortiz said. “Cabrillo is from the Moore League and that’s going to be a tough test for us. Last year they played us tough as well. For our guys it’s about getting that experience. The senior leaders are doing the best they can."