SPRING VALLEY — The Mount Miguel offense has received little attention this season, with the Matadors having the county's best defense.
But a Mount Miguel offense that was sporadic at best during the regular season redeemed itself Saturday night. Mount Miguel (11-0) scored on its first four possessions and went on to defeat Fallbrook, 35-0, in a 3-A playoff game at Mount Miguel. The victory avenged a 34-27 Mount Miguel loss to Fallbrook in last year's 3-A semifinals.
No. 2 Mount Miguel will play No. 3 Morse in the semifinals Friday at a site to be determined.
Mount Miguel's offense, which had just five first downs in a 16-7 victory over Helix three weeks ago, dominated the offensive line.
"We wanted to redeem ourselves after the Helix game," Mount Miguel center Joe Castillo said. "I think our speed helped us."
Said Mount Miguel guard Doug Kemp: "We knew quickness off the ball was the thing we had to do."
It's exactly what Mount Miguel did.
The running tandem of Anthony Williams and Gene Ethridge took advantage of gapping holes in the Fallbrook line. Williams carried 18 times for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ethridge rushed for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns in 14 carries despite not playing in the fourth quarter after twisting his ankle.
The Mount Miguel defense pressured Fallbrook (8-4) quarterback Mike Turiace. It recorded four sacks for a minus 30 yards. Turiace, the county's leading passer, was 19 of 42 for 216 yards and 2 interceptions.
Fallbrook mounted its only scoring threat midway through the second quarter when it drove 60 yards to the Mount Miguel 20 on 13 plays. On fourth and 10, however, Robert Griffith intercepted a Turiace pass in the end zone.
Mount Miguel dominated the first half, building a 28-0 lead.
On its first possession, Williams broke over left side for a 36-yard touchdown run. The touchdown was set up by Ethridge's 46-yard run.
Mount Miguel stopped Fallbrook in four plays and then scored on its second possession when Ethridge scored on a nine-yard run. Quarterback Anthony Rivera completed a pass to Byron Cardwell for the two-point conversion to give Mount Miguel a 14-0 lead with 4:29 left in the quarter.
Before the quarter ended, Mount Miguel extended its lead to 21-0 when Ethridge ran 80 yards on the second play of Mount Miguel's third possession. Jesus Alvarez kicked the extra point.
Mount Miguel scored again on its fourth drive when it faced a third and 11 at the Fallbrook 5-yard line. Williams raced around the left side, headed for the sideline and ran 95 yards for a touchdown.