Terry Henigan, Irvine High School football coach, was furious after his team lost its South Coast League opener to Capistrano Valley, 31-23, Friday. Not because the Vaqueros lost, but because he thought they could have won.
Henigan was particularly furious with one referee who signaled a 24-yard touchdown catch by Vaquero wide receiver Tony Bolanos with 31 seconds left, then reversed his call saying Bolanos bobbled the ball, then ruled that Bolanos was actually out of bounds.
At the time, Irvine trailed the top-ranked Cougars by two touchdowns and would have not only had to score but recover an onsides kick and score again.
But there was no one on Irvine's side of the field that doubted the Vaqueros could do it. Four plays later, running back Anthony Hernandez scored from the one, but a two-point conversion run failed. By then, 25 seconds had ticked off the clock and Irvine's big upset wasn't going to happen.
Henigan had said before the game that his team wasn't going to stop Capistrano Valley quarterback Todd Marinovich. But he didn't end up being the determining factor in the game. Marinovich completed 9 of 17 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, an average night by the senior's standards. He also threw three interceptions, one that set up the drive that allowed Irvine to tie the score, 17-17, in the fourth quarter and one with less than three minutes left.
What Irvine couldn't stop was the Cougars' running game. Tom Adams carried the ball 19 times for 155 yards and scored 2 touchdowns, one on a 6-yard pass from Marinovich, the other a 63-yard run that broke a 17-17 tie.
When Adams was resting, junior Jeff Wilson carried 8 times for 72 yards and scored the final Cougar touchdown, a two-yard run with 55 seconds left.
David Rawsoan also scored a rushing touchdown, a 56-yard reverse in the second quarter.
The only Irvine score in the first half was a 30-yard field goal by George Koutures. But the Vaqueros came out of the locker room fired up for the second half. On their first possession, quarterback Jeff Jones ran 56 yards for a touchdown. Irvine stopped Capistrano Valley's ensuing drive with linebacker Ki Soo Lim's interception of a Marinovich pass. The Vaqueros used 18 plays and about 8 minutes to take the ball 95 yards, scoring on Pat White's two-yard run.
White carried the ball 18 times for 100 yards. Jones completed 11 of 24 passes for 155 yards with an interception. The quarterback also rushed for 102 yards.
Dana Hills 23, San Clemente 21--Quarterback Donny Macintyre scored on a quarterback sneak as time elapsed in front of a homecoming crowd of 4,000 in Spencer Stadium at Dana Point.
The winning touchdown came following a bobbled snap by San Clemente punter Cameron Brown with 27 seconds remaining. Brown was thrown for a 15-yard loss by six Dana Hills linemen, giving the Dolphins possession at the Triton 27-yard line with 24 seconds left to play and no timeouts.
A pass interference call nullified a San Clemente interception, and Macintyre followed with a 12-yard pass to Jason Burden, setting up a first and goal at the Triton one-yard line with one second left to play.
Macintyre took it in from there as the final whistled sounded, giving the Dolphins their fifth win in six games. San Clemente (2-4, 0-1) put together two long scoring drives in the fourth quarter behind senior quarterback Doug Dill to take a 21-17 lead with 2:51 remaining.
STATE PREP CAREER PASSING LEADERS
No. Name School Years Yards 1 Ron Cuccia L.A. Wilson 1975-77 8,804 2 Todd Marinovich Mater Dei/Capistrano Valley 1984-87 8,028 3 Pat Haden Bishop Amat 1968-70 7,633 4 John Paye Menlo Park 1980-82 7,569