SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson has seen his share of ugly halves in his coaching career.
Add one more to that list.
Despite the first-half miscues, the No. 2-ranked Diablos were able to shake off the slow start and defeat San Juan Hills, 35-7, Friday night in a South Coast League game.
Mission Viejo (7-0, 2-0) has won 39 consecutive South Coast League games dating back to 2008.
Johnson was surprised by the lack of discipline his team showed and the disparity of penalties. The Diablos were flagged nine times for 100 yards, while the Stallions had two infractions for 25 yards.
“I’d have to see the film,” Johnson said, “but we got penalized a whole lot and we don’t usually do that. It was rather odd because we’re pretty disciplined that way.”
Five first-half possessions by Mission Viejo yielded the following results: two interceptions, two punts and the one touchdown, an 11-yard catch by Olaijah Griffin for a 7-0 lead.
Carson Lewis collected both first-half interceptions for San Juan Hills (5-3, 1-1) as quarterback Joey Yellen misfired early and often.
The junior, a transfer from St. John Bosco, was 4-for-12 passing in the first half for 39 yards, but hne finished with 160 passing yards and a touchdown.
Olaijah Griffin sees room for improvement in Mission Viejo’s 35-7 win over San Juan Hills. @ocvarsity @missionfootball @OlaijahGriffin pic.twitter.com/SLzZnQJINj
— David Delgado (@DavidDelgado_OC) October 14, 2017
The Diablos responded in the third quarter with a 21-point outburst, including a pair of short TD runs by Shaun Javier-Rhodes.
Their first play of the second half was a 49-yard grab by Griffin that set up Javier-Rhodes’ first score of the game.
The defense also collected an important takeaway when Christian LaValle scooped up a bad snap that went over the head of Stallions quarterback Doug Jackson, ending San Juan Hills’ scoring threat.
Akili Arnold paced Mission Viejo with 131 yards on 11 carries, including a 40-yard score that made it 35-0 in favor of the Diablos.
Chris Mitchell contributed 91 yards on the ground including a 30-yard TD after the LaValle recovery. Mission Viejo’s Austin Osborne led all receivers with six catches for 85 yards.
“All of them bounced back” Johnson said. “We play a long season so we’ll take 35-7.”
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