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San Clemente remains on a roll
SAN CLEMENTE -- San Clemente coach Jaime Ortiz’s plan was for his team to make steady improvement each week as the competition continued to get tougher.
After blowing out West Adams Prep of L.A. and Cabrillo of Long Beach, the Tritons were expecting a stiffer test from former South Coast League-rival Dana Hills, but San Clemente rolled to a 42-14 nonleague victory on Friday night at San Clemente High.
There was a running clock for the final 8 minutes after Sean Donnelly connected with Ryan Alvarez on an 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Tritons a 35-point lead in the fourth quarter.
"We just have to keep getting better every week," Ortiz said. "It’s going to keep getting tougher. We got La Costa Canyon next week and they are one of the top teams in San Diego. Then we have Newport Harbor and Edison."
San Clemente has beaten Dana Hills the past three years. Dana Hills coach Todd Rusinkovich and his assistants Jake and Chad Rusinkovich, Brad Curtis and Mike Cook all played at San Clemente. The Tritons didn’t play lightly against the former Tritons.
San Clemente got off to an awkward start, taking the opening kickoff and driving to Dana Hills’ 36 and getting stopped on fourth down.
San Clemente’s second drive was kept alive by a defensive holding penalty and an illegal participation penalty when the Tritons were punting from midfield. San Clemente took over at Dana Hills’ 35 after the reprieve and pounded away on the ground. DeAndre James ran four of the next five plays, including a 3-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead with 2:22 left in the first quarter.
Dana Hills fumbled on the next play from scrimmage and San Clemente’s Landon Cook pounced on it at Dana Hills’ 10. Two plays later, Sydney Reynolds scored on a 5-yard run and the Tritons had a 14-0 lead.
Donnelly was a little inaccurate early on, but he started to find his rhythm in the second quarter. Donnelly used a pump fake to sucker in the cornerback covering Reynolds, who was all alone down the near sideline. The play went for a 48-yard scoring pass.
Donnelly hooked up with Sam Darnold on a beautiful 27-yard pass to set up Christian Bailey’s 2-yard touchdown run on the next play that gave San Clemente a 28-0 advantage with 8:02 left in the first half.
San Clemente’s swarming defense was all over Dana Hills quarterback all night, but especially in the first half when it recorded four of its five sacks. The Tritons limited the Dolphins to a mere 38 yards of total offense in the first half.
San Clemente improved to 3-0, while Dana Hills dropped to 0-3.