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PREP EXTRA / SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS : DIVISION V : Villa Park Handles Corona del Mar, 43-21


ORANGE — Sean McMahon wishes every game could be like this, but he knows they all can't, so he's just grateful whenever they come around.

And the Villa Park High quarterback was feeling especially fortunate Friday night after his team's outstanding, balanced performance in a 43-21 Southern Section Division V playoff victory over Corona del Mar in front of about 300 at El Modena High.

McMahon completed 10 of 14 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions for the Spartans (10-1). He threw two touchdowns to wide receiver Sean Adams in the second quarter to help give Villa Park a 20-0 halftime lead.

Adams had 103 of his 117 receiving yards in the game's first 24 minutes. His final touchdown, which covered 14-yards, came with 8 minutes 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter and helped Villa Park to an insurmountable 28-0 lead.

Wide receiver Sam Stremick caught McMahon's final touchdown toss with 5:32 left in the game--a 45-yard pass that gave Villa Park a 40-21 lead.

"It was just a lot of great receivers made great plays all night," McMahon said. "I just got them the ball and they broke tackles and got away."

Villa Park plays Servite next Friday. Servite defeated Western, 12-0, in the first round.

The Spartans' running game was also impressive. Tony D'Amato carried 18 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns, and Bo Barnes gained 105 yards in 13 carries.

"Our running game set up everything," McMahon said. "We try to be this balanced every game, but it just doesn't always work this way. Tonight it did."

After a scoreless first quarter, D'Amato rushed in from 18 yards with 10 minutes to play in the second quarter. Tim Redfern's point-after gave Villa Park a 7-0 lead.

Corona del Mar (5-6) was unable to score until 4:30 remained in the third quarter when quarterback Josh Walz ran in from one-yard out. Walz, who completed 10 of 14 passes for 167 yards with two interceptions, scored all of the Sea Kings touchdowns with one-yard runs.

His third short touchdown run, with 6:52 to play, capped a 68-yard drive and cut the Spartans' lead to 34-21. But McMahon and Stremick combined for the long touchdown pass to squash any hopes of a comeback.

"The defense they were playing left me one-on-one with the cornerback," Stremick said, "and Sean made a great throw.

"This was kind of surprising. We thought they were going to be a lot better than this."

Redfern's 34-yard field goal closed the scoring with two minutes to play.

Brian Hogan, one of the county's best running backs, gained 97 yards in 22 carries to lead Corona del Mar. Walz had 63 yards in 15 carries.

"This team is really coming together now," McMahon said. "We knew we had a job to do tonight and we came out and did it. Now we have to keep working."

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