By Steve Breazeale
In what was an offensive shootout the Dana Hills football team came from behind against Capistrano Valley on October 18, erupting for 28 fourth quarter points to propel the Dolphins to a 57-32 Sea View League win.
The Cougars (4-3, 0-1 league) were trailing for most of the first half, but scored 14 unanswered points to take a three-point lead into the final twelve minutes against the Dolphins (4-4, 2-0).
One big Dana Hills offensive play after another soon followed.
Senior quarterback Mac Vail threw a short pass to senior Sean Schulte, who turned what could have been a decent gain into a 58-yard highlight reel play. Schulte’s dash after the catch to the end zone made it 36-32. Capistrano Valley quarterback Matthew Gordon then threw an interception and the Dolphins capitalized. Senior fullback Andrew Dunn scored on a 32-yard burst and, after Gordon fumbled on the ensuing Cougar drive, Dunn caught a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 50-32.
It was a ferocious comeback for the Dolphins, who have grown accustomed to putting up big points lately.
Against Irvine on October 4 the Dolphins put up 42 points. They topped that with a 52-point effort against Aliso Niguel last week. The 57 points they put up on Capistrano Valley is their new season high.
“The offense is really clicking right now. The way we can run the ball is incredible and Vail has a great arm so when we need to throw, we can,” Dana Hills head coach Todd Rusinkovich said.
Heading into the game the Dolphins had allowed 10 points over their past two games. Gordon and the Cougar offense was able to put up 32 on the Dolphins defense until they clamped down in the fourth quarter. The 32 points allowed was the second most they’ve given up all year.
The Cougars jumped on a Dolphins error after punting away and recovering when the Dolphins botched a free kick catch. Junior Jordon Bocko ran in a one-yard touchdown which narrowed Dana Hills’ lead to 23-17 at the half.
The Dolphins built their lead in the first two quarters behind the power running game of Brian and Justin Scott. Brian had 117 first-half rushing yards and scored a touchdown. Justin had 28 yards and Dunn contributed 21.
The Dana Hills running game was impressive and it was ignited by solid offensive line play. On Brian Scott’s biggest carry of the night, a 39-yard run in the first quarter, 6-foot-3-inch 280-pound offensive tackle Jake Hannah was a full 10 yards out in front of Scott downfield, providing a crucial block. The run set up a four-yard Scott touchdown on the next play.
“The offensive line does a phenomenal job. It’s unbelievable in high school to have an offensive line like that. They’re the best in the Sea View League and it’s phenomenal to lean on them,” Rusinkovich said.
The Dolphins are now in the driver’s seat for the league title. San Juan Hills was idle this week. The Dolphins enter their bye week and will return to play Laguna Hills on November 1.