LA North: Game of the week: Mission Viejo vs. Loyola

Loyola and Mission Viejo meet on Friday night in a match-up of ESPN Los Angeles.com Top 25 teams at L.A. Valley College at 7 p.m. Mission Viejo comes in ranked No. 3 while Loyola is No. 15.

Both teams won their season openers. Mission Viejo rolled over Bothell of Washington, 49-13. Loyola had a tougher time against Mira Costa, 10-7.

This will be the third meeting in the past three seasons between the two teams. Mission Viejo has won the previous two. The Diablos were 26-7 winners in 2009. In the first round of the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs in 2008, Mission Viejo beat Loyola, 37-6.

“We know their kids,” Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson said. “We know a lot about them, they know a lot about us. It should be a good game.”

Loyola coach Mike Christensen said his team made some mistakes that cost his team some points in the game against Mira Costa. Loyola running back Jared Baker had a 70-yard touchdown run called back because of a holding call. Another penalty wiped out a touchdown pass.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times,” Christensen said.

Baker scored the only touchdown of the game, on a fourth-and-goal play from the 4-yard line.

“It was a toss right that he turned into a Jared Baker left,” Christensen said. “He outran everybody.”

While the Loyola offense sputtered a bit -- Baker rushed for 41 yards in 19 carries and quarterback Jerry Neuheisel was 8-of-20 for 65 yards passing – the defense played well. They held Mira Costa to a lone field goal. Mira Costa also scored on two safetys.

“It was a bizarre way to get seven points,” Christensen said. “As a unit, the defense played well.”

Mira Costa scored one safety on a blocked punt. Loyola gave up another safety late in the game to gain field position. It was a risky move that put Mira Costa to within three points, but it worked for Loyola.

There were several standouts on the defensive side of the ball for Loyola.

Strong safety Tyler McBride led the team with nine tackles and forced a fumble. Nose guard Robert Jenkins and defensive tackle John Basadre each had a sack. Linebacker Eamon McOsker had eight tackles.

Mission Viejo traveled to Seattle to play Bothell, the second-ranked team in Class 4A in Washington, in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic. It wasn’t much of a contest.

“It was a beautiful trip,” Johnson said. “They graduated a lot of players. We got on a roll and stayed on a roll that night.”

Mission Viejo broke a 7-7 tie in the first quarter by scoring 42 unanswered points. The Diablos scored on all four of their first-half possessions racking up 153 rushing yards. Jahleel Pinner scored two touchdowns and Tre Madden and Dallas Kessman each scored one in the first-half barrage.

“They’re solid, they’re good,” Christensen said. “Tre Madden is a terrific athlete. They deserve their rankings and the attention they’re getting.”

Pinner and Kessman combined to rush for 213 yards against Bothell. Kessman had 123 yards on the ground while Pinner rushed for 90 yards.

“They both did very well,” Johnson said. “It’s a junior/senior combination that we like a lot.”

Other games to watch:

1. Oxnard at No. 2 Westlake, Friday, 7 p.m.

2. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at No. 14 Valencia, Friday, 7 p.m.

3. No. 25 St. Bonaventure vs. No. 5 Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium, Long Beach, Friday, 7 p.m.

4. Hart at Palmdale, Friday, 7 p.m.