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Football: No. 3 Mission Viejo 35, Bakersfield Centennial 6

9/3/2011
Martin Henderson for ESPNLA.com

MISSION VIEJO -- For Mission Viejo, its season-opening victory over Bakersfield Centennial was a lot of hit and miss, and in the end, a lot of fingers crossed.

The 35-6 nonleague victory in the Mission Viejo Classic was pretty complete, even though the central figures said there was a lot of room for improvement. But Diablos players walked off the field hoping for the best from Buzzy Yokoyama, who started at running back and got a sack from the nickel position on defense.

Yokoyama went to the hospital with a possible foot or ankle injury.

"We're really knocking on wood, praying, for any kid," coach Bob Johnson said. "He was a real contributor to us in a fast way and good way. he's a wonderful kid.. We haven't had him but for a few months, but he's fit in like a glove, like he's been here for four years. For anybody I feel bad their senior year like that, who's done a lot."

A senior transfer from Newport Harbor who missed three games last year because of a knee injury, Yokoyama carried five times for 35 yards, including a 26-yard run — his final carry of the night. That was part of a five-play, 72-yard drive capped by Jahleel Pinner's six-yard run for a 28-6 lead with 6:31 left in the third quarter.

Pinner carried 13 times for 57 yards and also caught a short pass that he took in for a 15-yard score and a 7-0 lead.

But the player with the big night was quarterback Alex Bridgford, who completed 10 of 21 for 260 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. He also had scoring passes of 58 and seven yards to Austin Reuland, and 26 yards to Max Redfield.

"We had some high points, but we really need to work on a lot," Bridgford said. "Good to get this first game out of the way and work out the kinks."

That sentiment was echoed by Johnson.

"We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot in every phase of the game," Johnson said. "First games can be really crazy. It's tough in high school, first games. you make a lot of crazy mistakes and hopefully we iron those things out. Bakersfield is no slouch. ... We got a long way to go but I like our team."

Next week Mission Viejo travels to New Jersey to play the No. 1 team in the country, Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Tech.