Diablos down Bears
WAILUKU – The top-ranked high school football team in Orange County, Calif., showed just how good it is.
Baldwin High School didn’t flinch, albeit in a losing effort.
Mission Viejo got touchdowns from seven players and rolled past the Bears 49-20 on Friday night in front of about 3,000 fans at War Memorial Stadium.
Baldwin was down 42-7 before Kawela Kaeo-Mata caught the first of his two touchdown passes from Josiah Maglente-Tonu, with 31 seconds left in the second quarter. The Bears then went 68 yards on a 17-play drive to open the second half, taking 6:02 off the clock before losing the ball on downs at the Diablos’ 13-yard line.
Mission Viejo responded with an 87-yard drive, capped by a 15-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Hunter Bland to turn on the mercy-rule running clock with 2:46 left in the third quarter.
“They are a real football team, but we are a real football team, too, we have got pads and everything,” said Bears coach Keneke Pacheco. “I’m proud of our offense, I’m proud of the defense, I’m proud of all the boys that have been doing a great job.”
The game was the starting debut for Maglente-Tonu. The junior finished 17-for-36 for 166 yards, with an interception and two touchdowns.
“We had some flashes of nice drives and things to look forward to,” Pacheco said.
Maglente-Tonu is the third starting quarterback for the Bears (1-2) in three games.
“We wanted to evaluate Josiah and see what he could do under battle conditions,” Pacheco said. “He did a great job, so now we get to go back and look at the film and move on from there.”
Mission Viejo (1-0), ranked No. 1 in Orange County by the Orange County Register, ran for 334 yards, with nine players carrying the ball.
“I’m so happy that they battled, they are a good bunch,” Diablos coach Bob Johnson said of the Bears. “I hope they have a great year. We had too much for them, our level is a little higher right now, but they are really respectful, a great bunch of guys and they played hard.”
Mission Viejo took a 21-0 lead in the first six minutes on a pair of long drives and a blocked punt returned 3 yards for a score.
The Diablos needed just five plays from scrimmage to go 70 yards for their first points, reaching the end zone on Tony Williams’ 6-yard run with 9:54 left in the first quarter. Ian Fieber started the drive with two passes for first downs wrapped around a 15-yard run by Daniel Marx, who is headed to Stanford on a football scholarship.
Baldwin had early hope after a 45-yard kickoff return by Dusty Flores put the ball on the 40-yard line, but went three-and-out before punting into the end zone.
The Diablos needed five plays to score again, this time on a 39-yard run by Alex Suchesk, then forced another three-and-out series. Noah Apolo fumbled the punt snap, his hurried kick was smothered by several Mission Viejo players and the ball was snatched up by Jake White, who scored with 6:18 left in the first quarter.
The Bears answered with a 76-yard, 13-play touchdown drive. Maglente-Tonu completed seven of 10 passes for 81 yards in the series – Baldwin overcame a penalty and a sack – with fourth-down connections of 11 yards to Patrick Turner and 8 to Chris Kazanecki.
Mission Viejo scored the next three touchdowns.
The Diablos went 77 yards in seven plays, capping the march with a 6-yard run by Conner Hill. The next time they touched the ball, they went 59 yards in six plays, scoring on a 2-yard run by Rome Innocenzi. Marx then scored on an 8-yard run to give Mission Viejo a 35-point lead with 2:48 to go before halftime.
The Diablos committed 14 penalties for 137 yards in the game, handing Baldwin seven first downs. Two of them were key on the Bears’ final drive of the first half – a roughing-the-passer infraction and a pass-
Baldwin’s final touchdown was a 5-yard pass from Jeremiah Badillo to Chris Kazanecki with less than a minute to play.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
Mission Viejo ….. 21 ….. 21 ….. 7 ….. 0-49
Baldwin …………… 7 ……. 6 ….. 0 ….. 7-20
MV-Tony Williams 6 run (Zach Olson kick), 9:54.
MV-Alex Suchesk 39 run (Olson kick), 7:19.
MV-Jake White 3 blocked punt return (Olson kick), 6:18.
B-Kawela Kaeo-Mata 15 pass from Josiah Maglente-Tonu (Benjamin Wuthrich kick), 0:31.
MV-Conner Hill 6 pass from Ian Fieber (Olson kick), 10:02.
MV-Rome Innocenzi 2 run (Olson kick), 6:26.
MV-Daniel Marx 8 run (Olson kick), 2:48.
B-Kaeo-Mata 15 pass from Maglente-Tonu (kick blocked), 0:14.
MV-Hunter Bland 15 run (Olson kick), 2:46.
B-Chris Kazanecki 5 pass from Jeremiah Badillo (Wuthrich kick), 0:57.