By Martin Henderson
Mission Viejo paid tribute to the armed forces on Friday
night, and in the process, overran Tesoro as if it were Grenada. The Diablos,
ranked No. 1 in Orange County and looking every bit of it, put together its
most complete game of the season. It was a huge loss for Tesoro, which could
have clinched a share of first place and practically guaranteed its entry into
the Pac-5 playoffs as the first-place team.
Score: Mission Viejo 37, Tesoro 7
Key Stats: Mission Viejo’s Ian Fieber completed 18 of 26 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns for Mission Viejo. The Diablo defense limited Tesoro 92 yards rushing on 33 attempts.
Pivotal Moment: It may not have seemed like it at the time, but Tesoro’s most important drive of the night may have come on its second possession. After letting Mission drive to the 13, the Titans had done well to force Mission Viejo’s Zach Olson to kick a 35-yard field goal 52 seconds into the second quarter for a 3-0 lead. When Tesoro got the ball on its 20, it needed to answer with something positive—a couple of first downs, a big play, anything. Instead, Jon Rivera rushed twice for four yards, Devon Modster threw an incomplete pass and the Titans were forced to punt the ball away. Four plays later, Mission had driven 73 yards and scored, and the rout was on.
Quotable: “I’m very happy, we finally played four quarters and put them back-to-back with both offense and defense,” Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson said. “It was our best game both O and D.”
Quotable II: “We had great practices all week,” Fieber said. “Missed a couple of deep balls in the first quarter. It’s a good rivalry. I guess they do” bring out the best in us.
Records: Mission Viejo (8-0 overall, 2-0 in league), Tesoro (6-2, 2-1)
Notes: After being forced to punt on its opening possession, Mission Viejo scored on its next four: Olson’s 35-yard field goal, Fieber’s 29-yard pass to Sean Modster, then a 30-yard pass to Modster, and Olson’s 28-yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the half. … The Diablos led at halftime, 20-0. The defense didn’t allow Tesoro past the Mission 45-yard line until the fourth quarter. … Mission played without possibly its best player, Alex Suchesk, who had a hamstring injury. In his place, Daniel Marx rushed 10 times for 64 yards, and Rome Innocenzi 8 for 47. … Modster caught five passes for 39 yards, and Andrew Schuurs caught six for 96, including a 27-yarder for a touchdown with 3:38 left in the game. … Schuurs’ touchdown started a running clock, but Tesoro finally scored with 41 seconds left as Devon Modster—Sean’s Modster’s younger brother—connected with Jake Smeltzer for 36 yards to avoid the shutout. … Devon Modster was sacked four times. … Olson made field goals of 35, 25 and 26 yards. …
Tesoro trailed 23-0 when it mounted its best longest drive, from its 20 to the Mission 6, but on fourth down, Steven Macke intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards for a 30-0 lead. … Devon Modster completed 11 of 23 for 178 yards and an interception. … This is the fifth consecutive year Mission Viejo has beaten Tesoro. … Mission Viejo plays at Trabuco Hills (5-3, 1-1) next week and can clinch a share of the league title with a victory. … Tesoro plays at San Clemente.