Ranked No. 2 in Orange County, the Mission Viejo got off to a slow start against an Inland Empire opponent. With a powerful offense and unproven defense, could this be the model for Diablo games this season?
Score: Mission Viejo 58, Corona Santiago 35
Key Stats: Alex Suchesk rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns, of 59 and 57 yards.
Pivotal Moment: After Suchesk’s 59-yard bolt pulled Mission Viejo pulled Mission Viejo to within 21-17, Julian Owens returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown with 6:07 left in the second quarter. In fewer than 90 seconds, the Diablos had gone from being down, 21-10, to being ahead, 24-21. The momentum shift continued with two more TDs before the half ended.
Records: Mission Viejo (2-0), Corona Santiago (0-2)Notes: Suchesk wasn’t the only Diablo who had a big night. Andrew Schuurs caught two TD passes of 8 yards in the second quarter, and Sean Modster caught two touchdown passes of 5 and 27 yards. … Ian Fieber passed for 251 yards and four touchdowns. His 5-yarder to Modster came with nine seconds left in the first half, capped a 34-point quarter, and gave the Diablos a 37-21 lead. … Mission Viejo’s Zach Olson kicked a 25-yard field goal to open the scoring. … Owens’ interception wasn’t the only one returned for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, teammate Rome Innocenzi had a 6-yard return to make it 58-27. … Santiago’s Jordan Walker returned an interception 48 yards to give the Sharks a 7-3 lead. … Santiago’s Blake Barnett rushed for 142 yards and touchdowns of 80, 15 and 18 yards, and passed for 139 yards, including a 43-yard scoring pass. … Santiago had played two high-scoring games. It was beaten in its opener by Newhall Hart, 56-49, meaning the Sharks average 42 points per game and are winless. … Next Saturday, Mission Viejo plays host to Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep, which was the No. 1 team in 2011 when it beat Mission, 35-7.