But the disappointment doesn't end there for the Loyola faithful. Late in the first quarter, Loyola's stud running back Anthony Barr went down with an ankle injury that forced him out of the rest of the game. Barr was escorted off the field and was unable to step with his right foot. He was immediately tended to and was seen thereafter on crutches and wearing a boot. The prognosis is that Barr suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
For Mission Viejo, however, the game was dominated from start to finish. After forcing Loyola's opening offensive drive to punt, Mission Viejo sustained a long drive of 10 plays from their own 41-yard line to score on an Exavier Edwards 13-yard touchdown run.
From thereafter, it was the Mission Viejo defense that took over, essentially shutting down Loyola's Barr-less rushing attack, and making it difficult for junior quarterback Jerry Neuheisel to deliver a clean pass.
Neuheisel was valiant in effort despite the constant pressure he faced from the Diablos' defensive line. The eldest son of UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, Jerry Neuheisel displayed impressive mobility, consistently avoiding the heavy pass rushes he faced enough so that he could at least avoid taking a couple of sacks.
But for all his bravado and play-making, Neuheisel and his offense failed to sustain any significant offensive drives as the Diablos' run defense was stout and their pass rush suffocating.
Mission Viejo's offense took advantage of great field position and untimely Loyola penalties to score to begin the second quarter. From 1st and 10 at the Cubs' 13-yard line, Edwards took a toss left, cutback right of a slew of defenders, and scampered into the endzone for his second touchdown of the game.
Mission Viejo went on to score two more times in the fourth quarter, first on a Jake Marshall 3-yard run and then on a Donny Ruggles punt return.
Loyola's lone score came in the fourth quarter, following Ruggles' punt return for a touchdown. The highlight of the drive was on 3rd and 6 at the Loyola 40-yard line when Neuheisel avoided a heavy pass to scramble to his right and find an open Darren Rosenberg down the field for a long gain. Loyola capped the drive off with a Jared Baker score from four yards out.
Mission Viejo begins their 2009-2010 campaign at 2-0 and will travel to Corona next week to take on the Panthers. Loyola falls to 1-1 and hopes to rebound next week at Newport Harbor.