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Sack Gives the Cougars Victory to Remember


MISSION VIEJO — It was a moment that Scott Hawkins might tell his grandchildren about someday--the time that he sneaked around the line of scrimmage and sacked the powerful San Clemente quarterback with the winning touchdown on the line and no time remaining on the clock.

But Hawkins, a senior outside linebacker for Capistrano Valley, wasn't thinking that far in the future Friday, after his sack sealed a 40-35 South Coast League victory over the Tritons in front of about 5,000 at Capistrano Valley High.

This was the biggest moment of his young life, and he wanted everybody to share it with him.

"I think this is the greatest game God ever invented," he yelled. "I love my team. This is the best feeling I've ever had in my entire life. I love everybody right now."

Capistrano Valley improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in league.

For San Clemente quarterback Chris Hayward, the disappointment was apparent as he rose to his knee after the sack and sat for several moments.

Hayward completed 23 of 31 passes for 399 yards and two touchdowns.

His second touchdown, a 35-yard pass play to Richard Buffum that was capped by Ryan Davis' two-point conversion run, put San Clemente on top for the first time in the game, 35-34, with 5 minutes 11 seconds to play.

But Capistrano Valley received the kickoff at its 19-yard line and Cougar quarterback Austin Moherman marched his team downfield. Moherman completed nine passes for 59 yards and Charlie Landrigan carried four times for 15 yards before scoring on a six-yard run with 42 seconds remaining.

The Cougars' two-point conversion attempt failed and they led, 40-35.

But the Tritons (4-4, 1-2) weren't giving up.

David Mauga returned the Cougar kick 22 yards to the Triton 34 and Hayward never faltered. He completed passes of 20, 19 and nine yards to bring up second down and one at the Cougar 16 yard-line with eight seconds remaining.

Hayward took the snap and ran right, looking at two open receivers in the end zone before Hawkins dragged him down.

After the game, as Triton players staggered, stunned, off the field, the Cougars lifted Coach Dave Brown on their shoulders and carried him around. They let him down in time to receive a celebratory cooler of ice water over his head.

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