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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Orange Lutheran rolls: The Pemasa family flexes its muscles

SANTA ANA Orange Lutheran gave Mission Viejo a taste of Trinity League football with a 28-7 victory in the first round of the CIF-SS Pac-5 Division playoffs on Friday night at Santa Ana Stadium.

"When you play in the Trinity League against Mater Dei and Servite, you learn how to be a physical, hard-hitting team," Lancers coach Jim Kunau said.

The Lancers recorded seven sacks, picked off four passes and recovered a fumble.

The Pemasa brothers — Ricky, Jeremiah and Alex, who all play linebacker — did much of the damage on defense for Orange Lutheran.

"They played like they usually do," Kunau said of the Pemasa boys. "They play the game with a passion."

It seemed as if Mission Viejo's junior quarterback Allan Bridgford had a different Pemasa brother harassing him in the backfield every time he dropped back to pass. Even if he got the pass off, he was getting knocked down and roughed up.

Ricky and Jeremiah each had a sack and Alex had two sacks and an interception.

"We just came out and gave it to them," said Ricky, who also rushed for 82 yards on 19 carries and scored on runs of 3, 4 and 2 yards. "It's great to play with your (family)."

"It's all from the coaching staff. They got us prepared. We read their plays all night."

The fourth-seeded Lancers advance to the quarterfinals next week for a showdown against Sunset-League champion Edison. Orange Lutheran will be the home team for that game.

Orange Lutheran built a 21-7 at the half, but it could have been much worse for the Diablos. The Lancers penetrated deep into Mission Viejo territory twice in the first half without producing any points. Once on an interception in the end zone and the other time on a missed field goal because of a high snap.

Orange Lutheran scored on its first possession of the game, putting together a 10-play, 60-yard drive. Lancers quarterback Blake Hyepock, who was 16 of 23 for 223 yards with one interception, completed a big 12-yard pass to Scotty Williams on fourth-and-10 from Mission Viejo's 35 to keep the drive alive.

Four plays later, fullback Tyson Seneca pounded it into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.

The Lancers' defense came up with another big-time play to set up the team's second score of the first quarter. Orange Lutheran's Wingate Wong delivered a hit on Bridgford as he was releasing a pass. The ball squirted up in the air and USC-bound Blake Ayles, who had USC coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines taking in the game, made an acrobatic play to get the interception.

Four plays later, it was Ricky Pemasa scoring the first of his three touchdowns on a 3-yard run to make it 14-0 with 1:35 left in the opening quarter.

Mission Viejo got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter with a nine-play, 80-yard drive. Bridgford used a beautiful play fake to sophomore running back Jake Marshall to set up a 4-yard quarterback keeper. That cut it to 14-7 with 10:31 left in the half.

Alex Pemasa's interception with less than three minutes left in the half set up his brother Ricky's 4-yard touchdown run to bump the lead to 21-7 with 32.2 seconds before the break.

Orange Lutheran put together a nine-play, 64-yard scoring drive that took more than five minutes off the clock on its second drive of the second half. Once again, it was Ricky Pemasa capping the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Mission Viejo tried to respond with a drive to keep itself in the game. The Diablos started at their own 20. They moved deep into Orange Lutheran territory. A 10-yard pass from Bridgford to Kevin Chandler on fourth-and-7 kept it moving. The Diablos got it to Orange Lutheran's 19. Then Alex Pemasa sacked Bridgford to force a fumble and Orange Lutheran defensive lineman Kapono Asuega got the recovery with 6:55 left in the game.

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