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PREP EXTRA / SATURDAY FOOTBALL PULLOUT : SOUTH COAST LEAGUE : Mission Viejo Reaches Playoffs by Beating San Clemente, 24-21

November 12, 1994|MICHAEL CASEY

MISSION VIEJO — The drought is over.

OK, so it only lasted one year. But that was one year too long for the folks at Mission Viejo.

First-year coach Bill Denny gave Diablo fans what they wanted, a 24-21 playoff-clinching victory over San Clemente in a South Coast League game Friday night at Mission Viejo High.

That ensures the Diablos (4-6, 3-2) of third place and a berth in the playoffs, which Mission Viejo missed last year for the first time since 1977.

"You can't ask for anything more as far as a high school game. I'm proud of these kids," Denny said. "At the start of the year we didn't think wins or losses. We wanted to go back (to the playoffs). That was our goal."

The Diablos did it with a big-play offense. Of their four scores, two came on the first play of the drive and another on the second play. Ryan Ballas started it with a 70-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game, and Todd Fielding finished it with a 70-yard scoring run with 1 minute 46 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Mission Viejo took advantage of two turnovers by San Clemente to build a 17-7 halftime lead, then turned to its defense after the Tritons closed to within three with 7:39 left on a 19-yard pass from Jeff Carlin to Trevor Insley, his second touchdown of the game.

San Clemente (4-6, 1-4) was stopped twice with less than three minutes remaining.

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