Nine sacks. That's how many times Mission Viejo's defense barged its way into the Redlands East Valley backfield and had its way with the quarterback.
The defensive statistic is just a footnote in the outcome, but what a telling item as the Diablos—ranked No. 6 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports—trounced REV, 52-21, in a nonleague game Friday at Mission Viejo High.
Everyone knows that Mission (6-0) will have an offense that can score points. But add the devastating defense and we might be looking at the best team around.
Including Santa Margarita Catholic.
The performance is sure to get everyone's attention. REV (1-3) had played Ventura St. Bonaventure close earlier this season, 18-17, and the Seraphs played Santa Margarita close last week. The Seraphs also ended the season for SMCHS quarterback Johnny Stanton, who suffered a torn ACL. Though idle this week, the No. 1 team in the nation, according to ESPN, is vulnerable.
And the Diablos might be the hottest team around right now.
Mission goes into its South Coast League opener in two weeks having scored 42, 63, 84 and 52 points over the last month. It scored 35 in their first two games.
REV came into the contest having played one the toughest schedules around and now has lost consecutive games to St. Bonny (No. 9 in the state), Vista Murrieta (No. 3) and Mission (No. 6). REV is ranked No. 6 in the Inland Division. It beat Mission last season, 10-7. It is a legit program.
And Mission made a mockery of it.
Garrett Marino had five sacks, forced a fumble and recovered it to set up a touchdown. Jordan Dominguez had two sacks, and Max Redfield and Julian Owens had interceptions. Redfield had two interceptions last week in an 84-22 victory over previously unbeaten Aliso Niguel.
Then there was the offense, which is averaging 51.8 points per game (and allowing 15.8).
It scored on four of its first five possessions to build a 28-0 lead. The Diablos were driving for another score and were at the 4-yard-line when REV's Daniel Gonzalez returned an interception 103 yards for a touchdown. Gonzalez also returned a kickoff 85 yards for a kickoff.
Still, Mission led at halftime, 35-14.
Ian Fieber completed 15 of 21 attempts that netted more than 300 yards and three touchdowns.
His four completions to Sean Modster averaged 42 yards, with TDs of 70 and 55. Fieber also threw a scoring pass to Frank Schnicker of 7 yards.
Speedy running back Alex Suchesk carried 15 times for 117 yards, including touchown runs of 29 and 10 yards. Marcus Collins had an 11-yard score after Marino forced a fumble and recovered it at the REV 20.