The Mission Prep High School football team scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to outlast Viewpoint in a 45-26 win in its home opener Friday night.
The Royals got on the scoreboard early after being shut out in last week’s 40-0 loss to Bishop Diego and held a 24-12 lead at halftime. Viewpoint then made things interesting, closing the gap to 24-20 before Mission Prep outscored the Patriots 21-6 in the final quarter.
Bend but don’t break
The Royals young defense did just enough to stop Viewpoint when it mattered. Minus a few big plays that resulted in touchdowns, the Royals stymied the Patriots for much of the game. Viewpoint had a chance to take its first lead of the game early in the third quarter when a big kick return and a penalty set up the Patriots inside the Royals’ 20-yard line. But Mission Prep held its ground, resulting in a turnover on downs by Viewpoint.
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The Royals forced two turnovers — one on a botched punt and an interception to swing the momentum back in their favor.
The first one came in the opening quarter when Viewpoint attempted to punt backed up on its own 15-yard line. The snap was high, and due to the pressure from the oncoming Royals, the punter tried to run. He was stripped of the ball by Branson Morain, who later recovered in the end zone for the touchdown to make it 17-0.
The second turnover came on a halfback pass attempt in the fourth quarter that backfired and was intercepted by freshman Emilio Corona. Mission Prep would later score on the ensuing possession to make it 31-24.
The long ball
Mission Prep quarterback Bryce Fledderman was coming off a game in which he threw for just 37 yards. He eclipsed that early in the first quarter. All three of Fledderman’s touchdowns were longer than 20 yards, and he finished 16-of-29 passnig for 198 yards.
Fledderman connected twice Angel Sanchez and another went to Joseph Miller. Sanchez and Miller combined for 130 yards receiving.
The long passes were set up by some hard yardage by senior running back Brayden Corona, who had two touchdowns of his own. Corona picked up 119 yards on 20 carries and also had 20 yards receiving.
The Royals (1-1) will travel next week to Long Beach to take on St. Anthony (1-1).