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Marina Outscores Mission Viejo

Both offenses have their way, but Vikings come out on top, 35-34, after stopping two-point conversion.

October 09, 1998|MIKE TERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There may not be many football games this season that can match the entertainment value of Thursday night's Mission Viejo-Marina matchup at Westminster.

In the end, the Vikings had a little more fun, holding on for a 35-34 victory before an estimated crowd of 1,500.

The 3-2 record that both teams have now and the one-point margin of victory indicates how even both teams were on the field.

Mission Viejo could have made things dead even after cutting Marina's lead to 35-34 on Dan Bowling's 1-yard touchdown run. But the Diablos went for the victory with a two-point conversion try and were stopped with 3:29 remaining in the game.

The game also revealed that each team's offense was able to exploit the other's defense.

Marina was superior on the ground. Quarterback Scot Austin, running the option, rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns in 15 carries, and fullback Ray Mietkiewicz pounded away for 124 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings finished with 361 yards. And it was the running game that allowed them to overcome the Diablos' early 21-7 lead.

"We were definitely worried about them," Mission Viejo Coach Steve Carnes said. "We saw them three weeks ago against Newport Harbor, and even though they lost they played very physical."

Although Mission Viejo did run effectively--backs Bowling and Chris Badraun combined for 175 yards and four touchdowns--the Diablos really hurt the Vikings through the air. Quarterback John Hudgins, in just his second varsity start, completed 13 of 26 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown.

"All season we've been struggling with our pass defense," Marina Coach Mark Rehling said. "It will definitely have to get better going into [Sunset] league. You know we'll see some great passing in league."

The Diablos used big plays to strike often against the Vikings in the first half.

Hudgins opened the game with a 65-yard bomb to Alex Honigford, setting Mission Viejo on the Marina 12. Two plays later, Bowling rumbled in from four yards out.

Two series later, Hudgins hooked up with Bob Young (five catches, 136 yards) for a 67-yard touchdown pass. And Bowling made his presence felt midway through the second quarter, bolting 58 yards down the right sideline for his second touchdown.

But the Diablos could not shake the Vikings, who had a couple of big plays of their own.

Austin, on a keeper, sprinted 33 yards for Marina's first touchdown late in the first quarter. And the Vikings would draw even before the half on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Austin to Aaron Williams.

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