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Football: San Clemente Stuns Tesoro in Final Minutes

Tritons score 22 points in the last four minutes—15 in the final 30 seconds—to shock Tesoro and damage its playoff chances.

The biggest victory in the short Jaime Ortiz coaching era at San Clemente High came out of nowhere.

San Clemente, under its first-year coach, scored 22 points in the last four minutes and stunned Tesoro, 29-21, in a South Coast League game Friday at Tesoro.

Tesoro (7-2 overall, 1-3 in league) came into the game ranked No. 6 in Orange County, and No. 15 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports but was undone by two touchdowns in the final 30 seconds.

San Clemente (5-4, 1-3) had lost four in a row, but the victory was the fifth straight over Tesoro, including last year's semifinal victory.

Through the first 44 minutes, it appeared imminent Tesoro would end the streak and virtually assure itself of an at-large berth in the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs.

But sophomore Sam Darnold, in his first start for injured Sean Donnelly, scored from 6 yards with 3 minutes 19 seconds left in the game to cut Tesoro's lead to 21-14.

With 14 seconds left, Christian Bailey scored on a 34-yard pass from Darnold, who then completed a toss to Ryan Alvarez on the two-point conversion attempt. That gave San Clemente a 22-21 lead.

With four seconds to go and Tesoro needing a big play to avoid the upset, Kelsey Benoit intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown and the 29-21 final score.

A year ago, San Clemente enjoyed the greatest season of its existence as it reached the Pac-5 title game before losing to Santa Margarita. The team this season, under its new coach, had been looking for a signature victory. This was it.

Darnold passed for 237 yards and two touchdowns, including 7 to Ricky Humes for a touchdown that cut Tesoro's lead to 14-7 with 1:24 left in the first half.

Tesoro got 104 yards rushing from Nate Tago and 147 from quarterback Matt Adam, who passed for 96 yards.

Adam scored on runs of 3 and 44 yards for a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Tago scored from 2 yards to give Tesoro a 21-7 cushion with 58 seconds left in the third quarter.

That set up the fourth quarter and San Clemente's ambush of the Titans.

Eric Bergstrom October 27, 2012 at 04:33 PM
NICE! Way to go SC!
Lawrence (Larry) McCook October 29, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I will pass along a saying from a great former football coach: "You never lose until you quit trying! - Paul "Bear" Bryant We are proud of you Tesoro!
Charles October 31, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Tesoro removes Brian Barnes as head coach. http://ocvarsity.freedomblogging.com/2012/10/30/football-tesoro-removes-brian-barnes-as-head-coach/268432/

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