Los Angeles Preps: Brent Melbon

Orange County: San Clemente 42, Dana Hills 28

October, 22, 2010
DANA POINT – It was a stunning moment, one in which Christian Tober turned around a game with a gutsy move and blurring speed.

Tober's 69-yard punt return in the third quarter paved the way for San Clemente to post a crucial 42-28 victory over host Dana Hills. It ruined the Dolphins' homecoming, and didn't do much for their playoff chances either. The Dolphins (3-5, 0-2) now need to win out against Tesoro and Trabuco Hills to get one of three guaranteed playoff berths from the South Coast League.

It was just the opposite for San Clemente (7-1, 2-0); two victories – including one against a playoff contender such as Dana Hills – should be enough to get into the playoffs. Next week, the Tritons take on undefeated defending league champion Mission Viejo (7-0, 1-0) with plenty of confidence. Last week Mission beat Dana Hills, 52-26.

San Clemente's scoring drives were 73, 29, 51, 48, 20 and 48 yards.

San Clemente got a big defensive effort in the second half, but it was Tober's return that was the monster play.

The score was tied at 28-28 after a remarkable first half in which San Clemente fell behind, 21-7, but got back into the game by taking advantage of a short field. Dana Hills had to punt on its first possession of the second half, and though Chris Kearney booted a 50-yard punt, Tober's 69-yard return – to the 20-yard line – was the flashpoint necessary to complete the comeback.

“That killed us,” said Dana Hills coach Brent Melbon of Tober's return. “We had the kid pinned in with three guys and he split two of them.”

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