When two of the best public school football teams in Orange County clash in a nonleague game, most players, fans, parents, reporters and cheerleaders expect the best weather to come with it.
San Clemente. Corona del Mar. Two coastal cities. A record-breaking heat wave earlier in the week. What could go wrong?
About 16 minutes before kickoff at Davidson Field, the drizzle turned into rain and carried through to the middle of the second quarter before slowly subsiding.
In that time, the Tritons executed best and took care of the football as they cruised to a 23-6 victory.
San Clemente (4-0) got on the board first after Max Gonzales recovered a punt that slipped through the hands of the Corona del Mar return man.
Blake Allen rumbled a couple of carries to the one-yard line before quarterback Broderick Redden scored on a keeper.
The Tritons struck again early in the second quarter after Redden found Thomas Hartanov for a diving 38-yard catch, which set up an 11-yard touchdown run from Allen.
San Clemente linebacker Brad Gerken came up with a big interception late in the second half and returned it 34 yards into Corona del Mar territory.
With nine seconds left in the opening half, Redden scrambled away from a couple of would-be sacks and found Hartanov in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown, giving the Tritons a 20-0 lead at the break.
Corona del Mar (3-1) looked to be getting into a groove on offense early in the third quarter as quarterback Kaleb Annett engineered a six-minute, 33-second, 80-yard scoring drive on which he completed six passes to his top target, Cooper Hoch.
The Sea Kings got on the board on a three-yard run from Colin Pene, but the San Clemente special teams group came up big again, blocking the extra point, which kept the Tritons lead at 20-6 with 5:27 left in the third.
The Tritons offense got moving again in the fourth and took a 23-6 lead on a 22-yard field goal from Kai Trager.
Corona del Mar had a chance to cut further into the Tritons’ lead after a personal foul penalty on a kickoff gave the Sea Kings great field position with time on their side.
On the first play of that drive, however, Owen Brady broke through the line and punched the ball loose from a Corona del Mar ballcarrier and it was recovered by Nolan Reid at the 50-yard line with 7:07 remaining.
Allen paced the San Clemente offense with 136 yards in 23 carries and a touchdown. Redden didn’t air it out a lot, but he was efficient, finishing eight for 11 for 98 yards and a touchdown. Hartanov finished with four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Annett was 27 for 45 with 227 yards and one interception. Hoch finished with 10 catches for 105 yards and Jack Loucks had five catches for 63 yards for Corona del Mar.