By Martin Henderson
The game of the night pitted the county’s two highest-ranked public schools. It turned out to be no contest.
Score: Mission Viejo 46, La Habra 21
Key Stats: Mission Viejo began four drives on the La Habra side of the field; the Diablos turned those opportunities into 23 points.
Pivotal Moment: Mission Viejo had just converted Eric Barriere’s fumble into a 20-yard touchdown drive for a 23-7 lead, and 73 seconds later, linebacker Brayden Roesch returned an interception 26 yards for a 30-7 lead with 4:15 left in the half. La Habra was down by four possessions, and the way the night was developing, there was no way the Highlanders were going to make that up.
Records: Mission Viejo (4-0), La Habra (3-1)
Notes: Mission Viejo was ranked No. 1 in Orange County and La Habra was No. 3, making this a battle of the county’s two highest-ranked public schools. … It was a good night for the Mission defense. It descended on La Habra’s sophomore quarterback, Eric Barriere, and forced an intentional grounding from the end zone for a safety and a 9-0 lead. Gabe Meza recovered an errant option pitch by Barriere that set up Connor Hill’s 16-yard pass reception from Ian Fieber for a 23-7 lead, and then Roesch had the interception return to make it 30-7. … Michael Mathewes recovered a fumble in the third quarter at the La Habra 23, precipitating Zach Olson’s 33-yard field goal for a 40-7 advantage on the final play of the third quarter. … Alex Suchesk scored on runs of 5 and 3 yards in the first half, the latter giving the Diablos a 16-0 lead. … Ian Fieber passed for two touchdowns, of 16 yards to Connor Hill and 10 yards to Andrew Schuurs. … For all the trouble that La Habra had, the Highlanders did put together a lengthy 12-play drive that ended with Carlos Martin’s 2-yard run to pull to 16-7, but their next two drives ended in turnovers.