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San Clemente Has Answers to Beat Huntington Beach


HUNTINGTON BEACH — Almost every time Huntington Beach got close, San Clemente swiftly answered as the Tritons won, 38-24, in a nonleague football game Friday at Huntington Beach.

San Clemente followed three of four Huntington Beach scores with scores on its next possession and never led by less than a touchdown in the second half.

Huntington Beach's Damon VanHoorebeke revived the Oilers' hopes with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with about seven minutes left in the game.

VanHoorebeke made a swift cut to the sideline then pulled away from four San Clemente pursuers over the final 40 yards for the score that cut San Clemente's lead to 31-24.

San Clemente was facing a third-and-11 play on its next possession, but quarterback Oscar Montecinos completed a pass over the middle to Jake Jones, who was wide open. Jones was finally tackled at the Huntington Beach 30 after a 30-yard gain.

It then took San Clemente only three more plays to get the touchdown. Dylan Bird rushed for 23 yards on second down to get to the Huntington Beach four. Montecinos then dove up the middle for four yards and a touchdown to give San Clemente a 38-24 lead with 5 minutes 11 seconds left.

Bird rushed for a team-high 95 yards and Montecinos added 60 and a second touchdown for San Clemente, which had 241 yards rushing. Montecinos also threw for 171 yards on seven of 14 attempts and had a touchdown.

Jones finished with five catches for 102 yards and a first-quarter touchdown on a halfback option pass from Chris McCormack.

"We had to [play well on offense]," San Clemente Coach Mark McElroy said. "Huntington Beach played a great offensive game."

The Oilers were able to exploit San Clemente at times with a series of quick passes and the pounding runs of VanHoorebeke, who had 98 yards in 20 tries.

Jeff Lineberger completed 19 of 31 passes for 171 yards and Erik Cabrera caught 13 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Eight of Cabrera's catches came in the second half as he frustrated the San Clemente defense continuing to find open areas.

But the secondary finally stiffened as Lineberger missed four times from the San Clemente 18 in the closing minutes.

San Clemente (3-0) took over with 3:18 left and ran out the clock.

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