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Tritons Stay Grounded in Victory

September 23, 2000|PAT LARKIN

Colin Mahoney and Chris Smith each rushed for more than 100 yards and combined for three touchdowns to lead San Clemente to a 27-15 nonleague victory at Aliso Niguel High Friday.

The Tritons, ranked ninth in Orange County, kept to the ground and pounded out more than 250 yards in rushing offense.

Mahoney ran 10 times for 122 yards and a touchdown, and Smith rushed 14 times for 103 yards and a score. Smith also ran a kickoff back for a 99-yard touchdown.

San Clemente (2-1) attempted only four passes in the game, and its one completion, a five-yard toss from quarterback Beau Budde to tight end Tim Burnette, sealed the outcome early in the fourth quarter.

The touchdown pass gave San Clemente a 27-3 lead with less than 11 minutes left to play. Aliso Niguel (0-4) did mount a comeback thanks to quarterback Bryce Latimer, who took over in the second half, after alternating with Joel Smith.

Latimer threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Dominic Ruiz for 32 and 77 yards. He finished the night completing 17 of 26 passes for two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Latimer's last touchdown pass came with 1:40 left in the game, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Tritons (2-1) and they were able to run out the clock.

After a sluggish first quarter that saw both teams combine for only four first downs, San Clemente put together an eight-play drive that was capped by Mahoney's 23-yard cutback run that gave the Tritons a 7-0 lead eight seconds into the second quarter.

Steve Berneking's 31-yard field goal cut into the lead with 6:43 left in the half, but any momentum shift was ended when Smith went untouched for a 99-yard kickoff return 17 seconds later.

San Clemente hosts Long Beach Millikan and Aliso Niguel hosts Trabuco Hills on Thursday.

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