By Steve Breazeale and Connor Schmitt
For in-game updates, scores and news for all of the San Juan Capistrano high school football teams, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.
Stallions Hold off Chargers, Prepare for Diablos
Following his team’s thrilling 40-36 South Coast League opening victory over El Toro on Oct. 16, San Juan Hills head coach Aaron Flowers had to tamper the electric feeling that was coursing throughout the Stallions’ ranks.
The coach was proud of his team’s effort, which featured a late game-winning drive that was executed by standout senior quarterback Patrick O’Brien, but when asked about the Stallions next opponent, reigning league and CIF-SS West Valley Division champion Mission Viejo, the coach stressed the mantra that has been at the heart of this special season the Stallions have put together.
“We’re 1-0 this week and that’s what we’ve been telling our kids. This league, especially this year, it’s going to be a weekly basis,” Flowers said. “It’s like each week has its own life. We’re 1-0 this week and we’ll enjoy this for a little bit and re-group and see what we can do (against Mission Viejo).”
San Juan Hills (7-0, 1-0 league) had a tough task at hand with the Chargers last week but now, their toughest matchup to-date looms against the Diablos (8-0, 2-0), who travel to San Juan Hills on Oct. 23. Mission Viejo has won 20 straight games and stormed back from a 16-point deficit in the second half to upend Tesoro 39-33 on Oct. 16.—Steve Breazeale
Lions Fall Short Against Eagles
For the first time since 2013, Santa Margarita marched onto the field without Stanford-bound quarterback KJ Costello, who was sidelined with an ankle injury for a Trinity League matchup against JSerra on Oct. 16.
Fortunately for the Eagles, their backup quarterback, Richard Wagner, thrived in the pocket just like Costello has been known to do.
Wagner, a junior, confidently filled the “next man up” role, throwing 19 passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions.
After a 51-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, Santa Margarita celebrated a 28-21 victory over the Lions.
The Eagles had not defeated JSerra since 2012.
Lions (5-2, 0-2) running back Avery Williams struck first against the Eagles, ending a long offensive drive with a one-yard touchdown to make the score 7-0. Three plays later, Wagner connected with Grant Calcaterra for a 66-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
After forcing a quick three-and-out to start the fourth quarter, with the game knotted at 21-21, a pass attempt from Lions quarterback Riley O’Brien drew a defensive pass-interference against the Eagles, setting the Lions up with good field position. On the next play, an errant O’Brien pass was intercepted.
On the Eagles next drive, Wagner connected once again to Calcaterra for a 51-yard touchdown to seal the win.
JSerra will play St. John Bosco at Cerritos College on Oct. 23. –Connor Schmitt
In other San Juan area football action:
St. Margaret’s bounced back from a 43-40 loss to Justin Siena on Oct. 10 with a convincing 52-7 win over Sage Hill on Oct. 16. The Tartans will travel to play Brethren Christian in a big Academy League tilt on Oct. 24.
Capistrano Valley Christian defeated Fairmont Prep 36-20 on Oct. 15. The Eagles will travel to play Santa Clarita Christian on Oct. 24.
Saddleback Valley Christian remained undefeated on the season following a 56-8 win over Southlands Christian on Oct. 16. The Warriors will play Fairmont Prep on the road on Oct. 24.