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MISSION HILLS – Take a look at the CIF Southern Section’s football landscape for the past decade or so and it won’t be hard to see the best teams south of LAX live. Orange County’s Mission Viejo rolled into the San Fernando Valley on Friday night, smothering a talented Alemany team 30-7.
Defense, tackle and discipline pave the way to Division 1 soccer playoffs. With steels like St. John Bosco and Mater Dei likely to lead the field of the top eight teams from the southern section, even the occasional mistake of reasoning and penalties can be fatal.
Alemany bet on his first three ball possession, committed several false start penalties on the offensive and jumped offside, screwing up defensive tasks at crucial times that led to Mission Viejo results.
Mission Viejo quarterback Kadin Semonza found receiver KJ Reed in two consecutive games in the first quarter, a 45-yard bomb in the middle of the field, followed by a 21-yard swing to the corner for the Diablos’ first touchdown. Ryan Ewing failed with a 26-yard field goal towards the end of the first half, giving him a 9-0 lead at break.
Semonza hit the tight end of Jackson Holman for a touchdown in the third quarter and then ran Chase Valousky back in the final frame to put the game on hold. Semonza finished 14 of 20 with a 280 yard pass and four touchdowns. Both the Holman and Reed touchdowns were set up or scored by a stand-alone receiver.
“We’re just not good enough,” said Alemany head coach Casey Clausen. “Zero points before the fourth quarter won’t make it.”
The lone Alemany score came from running back Floyd Chalk, a 44-yard burst to save the Warriors from a shutout. But the game was long over.
Alemany has several college-bound players but has struggled to use them to keep the football moving. Senior quarterback Dylan Gebbia was 9-of-14 for 76 yards through the air and 52 yards rushing. He was replaced by Anthony Wolter in his sophomore year, who completed only four of his eleven attempts and threw an interception. Chalk ended with 101 yards rushing.
“It’s going to be a competition with the two of them like it always was. We need a man to do the job, ”said Clausen about the two quarterbacks.
Alemany has played a tough schedule so far, losing to St. John Bosco and Utah’s Lone Peak High School. Your 56-21 win over Oaks Christian a week ago must feel like a world wide.
“We purposely planned these teams to see where we are. We’re all in it together and at the moment we’re just not good enough, ”said Clausen.
In a game where Alemany got away with nothing and was punished for everyone, a game feels symbolic. In a broken Hail Mary game, a few seconds behind at halftime at the Diablo 41 yard line, Gebbia connected running back Floyd Chalk below the sunken Diablo defense with room to run. Chalk maneuvered from one sideline to the other, eyes for a touchdown on the other end.
But enough Diablos had stayed home at the back of the field and collapsed on chalk to end half-time. Until his late score, it was as close to the end zone as the Warriors.
“You have to play at a certain level against better competition. If you don’t play at that level, that’s going to happen, ”said Clausen.