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HUNTINGTON BEACH — JSerra emerged as the surprise team at the Battle at the Beach passing tournament on Saturday, and host Edison wasn’t too far behind.
Here’s a closer look at JSerra and Edison, and a few other revelations from the tournament won by Mission Viejo.
JSerra advances to the semifinals
The Lions, a young squad that finished 3-8 last fall, tied with Edison for first place in Pool A and defeated Battle at the Bay passing champion Corona del Mar to reach the semifinals. The Lions then lost to St. John Bosco 18-4 but still made a statement.
JSerra stayed close with the Braves most of the semifinal thanks to interceptions by linebacker Clarence Chaney and cornerback Kamar Garbourel, both juniors.
Lions quarterback Zander Singh, another junior, showed a strong arm in the game despite his offense being blanked.
Singh’s top targets Saturday included senior wide receiver Josh Jornadal, sophomores wide outs Logan Christensen and Brett Debergh and senior tight end Jose Frutos.
Edison pushes Mater Dei
The Chargers made a few highlight plays in a 21-12 loss to Mater Dei in the quarterfinals.
Senior wide receiver Malachi Pierce made a spectacular, one-handed TD catch in the back of the end zone from quarterback Parker Awad that drew a roar from the Edison faithful. Junior wide receiver Mason York also caught a touchdown for the Chargers.
“We competed,” Edison coach Jeff Grady said. “We gave them (Mater Dei) a lead early and you can’t do that. They’re obviously really good … but we were there. We had chances for sure.”
Edison’s other standouts were senior wide receiver Ashton Hurley, senior running back/safety Carter Hogue and senior middle linebacker Logan Gregory.
Hogue and senior wide receiver Jackson Irwin also played well in the Chargers’ 19-12 win against Santa Margarita that closed pool play.
Mission Viejo blanks St. John Bosco
Was Mission Viejo surprised it shut out St. John Bosco 21-0 in the finals?
“It surprised me a little bit but I knew our defense could handle it,” Diablos senior middle linebacker Tommy Reese said the result against the Braves, ranked No. 1 in the nation in the MaxPreps preseason poll.
The Diablos’ defense looks improved with the arrival of 6-foot-3 sophomore cornerback Dijon Lee Jr., a transfer from Servite.
Mission Viejo also has moved Tesoro transfer safety Michael D’Amato to nickel back, and the senior responded with an interception in the championship game.
The Diablos’ defense showed plenty of depth at the tournament. Some of the unit’s other players to watch are: junior defensive back Jonavan Asuncion, linebackers Joey Torrez and Jack Matranga and safeties Travis Anderson, Carter Boskovich and Roman Hardin.
Freshmen wide receivers Carson Clark of Los Alamitos and Trent Mosley of Santa Margarita flashed skills beyond their years.
Clark caught two touchdowns from USC commit Malachi Nelson in a 33-14 loss to St. John Bosco to open the tournament. He also hauled in a long TD for the Griffins’ first score against Mission Viejo in the quarterfinals.
Clark and fellow freshman wide out Ja’Myron Baker saw more opportunities Saturday with the absence of USC commit Makai Lemon.
Mosley, arguably the top freshman in Orange County, played well in the slot. He also teamed on offense with his brother Emmett Mosley, a touted junior who also impressed at wide receiver.
Backup delivers in clutch
INT for the win! Erik Carmona game-winning pick for @capofootball v Warren 16-14 @ocvarsity pic.twitter.com/sT8gCRa7kt
— Dan Albano (@ocvarsityguy) July 9, 2022
Capistrano Valley backup safety Erik Carmona made a sliding interception on the final play to deliver a 16-14 win against Warren in Pool D. Interceptions at the tournament counted for two points, so the defensive gem provided the winning margin.
“It feels great,” said Carmona, who was mobbed by teammates. “Everybody is pretty crazy.”
Junior wide receiver Cash Moormann also surfaced as a player to watch for Capistrano Valley. He caught touchdowns from quarterback Trey Kukuk against Serra and Warren in pool play.
Please send football news to Dan Albano at [email protected] or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter