Murrieta Valley's Season Ends in Loss to Mission Viejo

Murrieta Valley football players listen to coach George Wilson after Friday night's game. Photo by Alex Sims By Alex Sims Murrieta Va...

Murrieta Valley football players listen to coach George Wilson after Friday night's game.
Photo by Alex Sims

By Alex Sims

Murrieta Valley High School, a heavy underdog in the game, made top-seeded Mission Viejo work hard for its 42-21 home victory over the Nighthawks Friday night in the second round of the CIF football playoffs.

The Diablos (12-0) trailed 14-13 to the aggressive Nighthawks (9-3) before the home team took over. Within 90 seconds into the third quarter, the Diablos had scored. They took the kickoff return 51 yards, then utilized the small but quick Isaiah Miller for 33 yards and then again for a 12-yard run to the end zone, making the score 20-14 Diablos.

The Nighthawk defense continued to show up, even while the offense struggled to find its way. Highlights in the third quarter were Julio Robles sacking Brock Johnson, forcing and recovering a fumble. Also, Jaylen Moore intercepted Johnson in the end zone.

In the fourth quarter, the Nighthawks made what would be their final scoring drive with Quincy Wimbish contributing a 49-yard run, then Hank Bachmeier connecting with Maurice Bell from 16 yards out.

The Diablos defense continued to stymie the Nighthawks, not showing them the other side of the field the rest of the game. The Diablos added two more TD's to seal the victory.

In the first quarter, Bachmeier and Marquis Spiker connected for 29 and 17 yards on a big drive. Bachmeier then spelled it out to the Diablos, throwing to Spiker three more times from the 9-yard line, completing the last one for the go-ahead TD, making the score 7-6 Nighthawks.

Mission Viejo attempted to respond, but was stifled by the Nighthawks defense. Kane Bowen and Cade Vinsky of the Nighthawks defense helped with a sack of Johnson and forcing a punt. Vinsky was in on another sack later in the second quarter. But Murrieta Valley could not show the explosiveness that they did in the previous drive and went three and out.

The Diablos kept possession as the secondnd quarter started. Johnson and the Diablos finally got a rhythym going and put together a solid drive mixed with passes and solid running plays utilizing Isaiah Miller. The drive ended with Miller going in from 2 yards out to make the score 13-6 Diablos.

Not to be outplayed, Murrieta Valley coach George Wilson put Wimbish to work. After taking the kickoff return 38 yards, Wimbish came back with runs of 8, 22, and 6 yards consecutively, and a pass to Mazin Khalil from 5 yards out from the Wildcat formation. This made the score 14-13 at the half.

"It's been a crazy season," Wimbish said. "(I don't think) anyone believed in us and here we are playing the No. 1 team. This is my last high school game, I'm going to miss this. We worked so hard, from spring to now, and I'm proud of what we did."

"We were just a few critical plays away, and those plays snowballed on us," Wilson said. "We came to win. We played well. We showed up to win; it just didn't go our way."

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