East County Sports

CIF Football: Diablos end Granite’s dream


CIF Southern California Regional
Division 1-AA


From staff and wire reports

MISSION VIEJO – The last time Granite Hills High made a football trip to Orange County, the program was bursting with pride after capturing the CIF State Championship in Division 2-AA crown at Saddleback College.

On Friday (Dec. 1), the excitement level was considerably less.

Despite raging to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, the Eagles fell to host Mission Viego High, 49-21, in the Southland Regional finale. The Diablos 12-3 overall) ran off 49 consecutive points after trailing early, ending the school and East County record for consecutive victories of 21 by Granite Hills (12-1 overall) — the secong-longest active streak in the state entering the contest.

Mission Viejo’s stretch of 49 straight points, saw running back Hinnesward  Lilomaiava tie the contest with TD runs of 5 and 1 yards to cap long drives.

Moments later, A score gave the Diablos their first lead.

However, when sophomore safety Jeron Jones returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown just three plays into the third quarter, the Eagles dream of back-to-back state championships vanished.

Meanwhile, Mission Viejo asvances to its first CIF state finale since 2015. The DIablos will play seven-time state champion Concord-De La Salle in the state final next weekend at a Southern California site to be announced. De La Salle (11-2) whipped Clovis North 41-0 in the NorCal final.

Granite Hills earned its state FinalFour berth following a pair of 1-point victories over Carlsbad and Lincoln to gain the San Diego Section crown. But after Mission Viejos slow start, it was all Diablos over the final three quarters.

The Diablos’ 49-14 lead in the fourth quarter invoked a running clock. Luke Fahey scored on a 15-yard run, then tossed a 3-yard score to tight end Grant Nichols.

Early On

Granite Hills, the defending Division 2-AA state champions,  utilized a trick play on its first play from scrimmage to spark its game-opening, 85-yard drive. A double pass helped set up a 5-yard TD run by Max Turner.

Running back Pablo Jackson took a lateral on the first play from scrimmage and completed a 45-yard pass to Josh Zander to move the ball to the Diablos-35.

Granite Hills later drove 62 yards thanks to a pair of fourth-down conversions. Jackson capped the drive with 1-yard plunge without of the wildcast formation 2:48 left

Fahey completed 17 of 25 passes for 209 yards and two TDs. He also rushed for 57 yards to support the 77 collected by Lilomaiava.


CIF State Championships
Southern California Regional
Division 1-AA Championship

Granite Hills (12-1).... 14  0  0  7 - 21
Mission Viejo (12-3)....  0 21 14 14 - 49

First Quarter
GH – M. Turner 5 run (Petrich kick)
GH – P. Jackson 1 run (Petrich kick)

Second Quarter
MV – Lilomaiava 5 run (Salgado-Medina kick)
MV – Lilomaiava 1 run (Stafford kick)
MV – Lilomaiava 2 run (Stafford kick)

Third Quarter
MV J.Jones 46 interception return – (Salgado-Medina kick)
MV – P. Bell 4 run (Salgado-Medina kick)

Fourth Quarter
MV – L. Fahey 15 run (Salgado-Medina kick)
MV – G. Nichols 20pass from Gahey (Salgado-Medina kick)
GH – B. Lewis 4 pass from Z. Benitez (Petrich kick)