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By Zach Cavanagh
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – There were two contests on the field at San Juan Hills High School on Friday night.
First was the football game itself. San Juan Hills took care of its business and dominated Canyon, 34-0. The Stallions controlled the line of scrimmage to hold Canyon to just 53 yards of offense through three quarters, rush for a combined 289 yards and give Coach Rob Frith his first win at San Juan Hills.
“It feels good to win,” Frith said. “For me, it’s not about my first win. It’s about the kids and them being successful and feeling good. When you’re able to run the ball and play good defense, it’s a recipe for success.”
— SouthOCsports (@SouthOCsports) August 25, 2018
Senior Chase Monarch ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Junior Joey Hobert did a little of everything with an interception, touchdown reception, 75-yard punt return touchdown and two punts inside the Canyon five-yard line.
Canyon (0-2) passed for negative yardage through three quarters as the Stallions (1-1) defensive line swarmed and conquered the Comanches.
“I think it starts with a good game plan,” Frith said of the defense. “I think Pete Silvey does a great job coordinating a great game plan each week. It takes place during the week in practice, guys buying in and working hard, and execution on Friday nights.”
The second contest was under center as San Juan Hills used their second game as a quarterback competition. Returning junior quarterback Bryce Crider and transfer junior quarterback Jake Carreon alternated quarters at the helm of the offense.
The 6-foot-5 Crider played in the first and third quarter, completed 8 of 12 passes for 107 yards, three touchdowns and an interception and rushed for 26 yards on two carries.
The 5-foot-11 Carreon played the second and fourth quarters and completed 5 of 10 passes for 40 yards and took two sacks and a fumble for minus-23 yards rushing.
Because of the San Juan Hills dominance and the proficient running game, each quarterback’s production was helped – and hindered as Carreon took the fourth quarter reps while the Stallions ran down the game clock.
While Friday was an opportunity to evaluate both quarterbacks to decide on a starter before a tough stretch of schedule, Frith will need an extra day in the office to make a firm decision.
“You can look at production, but at the same time, you’ve got to look at film,” Frith said. “For me, you get a sense for what’s going on by just being here, but to really understand what’s going on, you need to get in and watch film. You need to look at read progressions, make sure guys are making good decisions with the football. Those are the things that you can’t measure just out here on a Friday night. You need to sit down and be diligent about watching them on film and grading them.”
Joey Hobert did a little of everything for @sjhhsfootball. The junior returned a punt for TD, caught a TD, pulled in an interception, and kicked two punts inside the five. Hobert talks about San Juan Hills first win of the season: pic.twitter.com/WzUDIwv66p
— SouthOCsports (@SouthOCsports) August 25, 2018
San Juan Hills got off to a quick, if a little sloppy, start.
Crider took a keeper run on the game’s opening play for 30 yards, but a holding penalty negated it to a 19-yard run. The next snap went over Crider’s head where Chase Monarch grabbed it and ran 60 yards to the end zone. However, another holding penalty negated the score and kept it at a 44-yard run.
The Stallions worked quickly and eventually did finish the opening drive in the end zone as Crider hit Brigham Hill on a 19-yard touchdown, 7-0.
At the end of Canyon’s next drive, Joey Hobert returned a punt 75 yards for the score and a 14-0 lead. That play initially looked like another negated score as a flag was thrown for running into the punter, but the flag was waved off to up hold Hobert’s return.
“I trusted the scheme,” Hobert said of the punt return. “Blocks were insane. On one of them, my teammate got absolutely destroy just so I could get through. And I appreciate that greatly. Just taking it back was fun, making moves, having my teammates beside me. Even when I scored, they were right there.”
Canyon’s next drive ended in more San Juan Hills controversy as Nic Mendiola blocked the Canyon punt and picked it up for the score. However, another holding penalty cancelled out another San Juan Hills core.
Later in the first quarter, the teams each traded an interception deep in Canyon territory. After Hobert pulled in the interception for San Juan Hills, Crider immediately found Jaxon Lewis in the left corner for a 25-yard touchdown and the 21-point lead.
Carreon took over in the second quarter but couldn’t find a footing in the offense. Austin Hogan carried the Stallions down the field with three straight runs for first downs. San Juan Hills got to the Canyon 8-yard line, but the Stallions sputtered. The drive ended with a missed field goal.
In the third quarter, Crider hit Hobert up the San Juan Hills sideline for a 37-yard touchdown and the 28-0 lead.
The fourth quarter was the running backs’ domain as Monarch added the game’s exclamation point with a three-yard touchdown run early in the quarter.
Canyon missed a 30-yard field goal attempt to keep the game scoreless.