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Mission Viejo Keeps Streak

No. 2 Diablos defeat No. 5 Long Beach Poly, 28-27, to win their 32nd game in a row as the Jackrabbits fail to capitalize on chances.

October 03, 2003|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

Apparently, there is no such thing as going to the well too often.

And, apparently, there is no beating Mission Viejo.

Not only did receiver Marty Tadman throw a touchdown pass in the first half on a double-reverse pass, but with a 31-game winning streak on the line, he did it again in the fourth quarter.

It all came together in a 28-27 victory over Long Beach Poly, but Tadman's defense also needed to make a play or two. The Diablos turned away a two-point conversion attempt with 2 minutes 6 seconds left and then held off the Jackrabbits after they recovered the ensuing onside kick.

The game pitted two Southern Section and state powers. Mission Viejo (4-0) is ranked No. 2 by The Times and No. 3 in the state. Poly (2-2) is ranked No. 4 by The Times, No. 14 in the state.

Mission Viejo won its 32nd consecutive game, tying Huntington Beach Edison (1979-81) for the longest winning streak in Orange County history. At 32 games, it is the fifth longest in section history.

"Nobody in the streak can say they beat Poly," said Tadman, who completed both of his passes, for touchdowns of 36 yards to Jed Collins for the Diablos' first score and 15 yards to quarterback Mark Sanchez with 5:08 left. He also caught four passes for 79 yards. "We're not going to play another team like Poly, with those athletes. To know that we can beat a team with that speed and that size...."

Tadman, a backup quarterback last season, gave the Diablos a 28-21 lead with his pass to Sanchez, but Mission Viejo eventually found itself punting from its end zone. Derrick Jones' 19-yard return gave Poly possession at the 18.

Anthony Torrell Baker, who rushed 20 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns, scored three plays later on a four-yard run. With 2:06 left and trailing by one, the Jackrabbits went for a two-point conversion. The ball went to Baker, who was trying to sweep around right end, just as he had done successfully all night. One difference this time: Chase Moline tackled him by the ankles.

Poly was successful with its onside kick, but Nick Reed tackled Poly quarterback Cruz Parsons on third- and fourth-down plays.

Poly had its chances. Twice Poly got inside the five-yard line, but only got three points out of it, a 20-yard field goal by Nathan Smith.

Smith also missed a 23-yarder. Another time, the Jackrabbits reached the 14, only to have Nick Grothjan intercept a Parsons pass. It was critical, because on the next play, Moline shook off three defenders on his way to an 88-yard score.

"I'll take luck any day," Mission Viejo Coach Bob Johnson said. "This was one of the best football games I've ever been associated with."

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Streaking Along

Mission Viejo moved into a tie for fifth on the Southern Section's list of longest football winning streaks with a 28-27 victory over Long Beach Poly on Thursday. A look at the top 10:

*--* School Years Wins Temple City 1969-73 46 C.C. Canyon 1983-86 46 St. Bonaventure 1999-02 43 Loyola 1962-64 35 Mission Viejo 2001- 32 Edison 1979-81 32 Norco 1992-94 30 Diamond Bar 1984-85 27 Esperanza 1990-91 27 Los Alamitos 1991-92 27

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