confidence to the Oiler camp. It came just in time, too, as Mission Viejo
figures to be Huntington Beach's toughest nonleague opponent.
So far, the Oilers (1-2 overall) are 1-0 against South Coast League
competition, but Mission Viejo, ranked fourth in the latest CIF Southern
Section Division II poll, is considered the favorite for the SCL crown.
"It's going to be a tough game, and it becomes tougher when you have
to play a team like Mission Viejo on the road," Huntington Beach Coach
Tony Ciarelli said. "Our defense will be put to the test, and our offense
is going to need to control the ball, in order to win this game."
Ciarelli's point is well taken. Huntington Beach will need to keep the
ball away from a Diablos team that has scored 97 points in its last two
games, and is averaging 37 points an outing.
After opening the season with a surprising 23-14 loss to Temescal
Canyon, Mission Viejo (2-1) has rebounded to beat West Covina (62-27) and
Laguna Hills (35-27). The Diablos have been putting points on the
scoreboard with an offense that features balance all around.
They are led by senior quarterback Billy Hart, who comes into
tonight's game with 487 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception. He
has completed nearly 60-percent of his passes (37-62), and averages 13.2
yards per completion.
His favorite receiver, thus far, has been senior wide receiver/outside
linebacker Jason Hibbard, who has 12 receptions for 166 yards.
The talent extends to the Diablos backfield, where leading scorer
Robbie Dubois (six touchdowns), a 5-foot-10, 190 junior tailback/outside
Dubois is one of the county's top rushers with 528 yards on 67
carries, good for nearly eight yards per attempt.
He's complimented by junior fullback Ryan Powdrell (6-1, 220), who has rushed 21 times this season for 181 yards (8.6 avg.).
Mission Viejo's potent offense, however, has been hampered by
"Still, it's definitely going to challenge us," Ciarelli said of the
Diablos offense. "We're coming off a terrific defense performance against
Capo, and we hope to continue to play at that level. This will be our