Fryer on football: Surprised by upsets in Orange County football? Don’t be

It is a familiar question after a night like Friday night.

“Are you surprised they won?”

Nope. Never surprised.

It’s Orange County high school football. Anything can happen and usually does.

San Juan Hills beat Tesoro 7-6. San Juan Hills (2-3) is No. 16 in the Orange County top 25. Previously undefeated Tesoro (4-1) is No. 8 in the county rankings.

Villa Park beat Servite 28-14. First off, you don’t need to know rankings to understand that was an upset – a public-school team defeated a Trinity League team. That’s like Fresno State beating USC (that happened at the Freedom Bowl … the what? Google that one, friends.)

For the record, Villa Park (3-1) is No. 11 in the county top 25. Previously undefeated Servite (3-1) is No. 6 in O.C. and No. 13 in the CalHiSports.com state rankings.

El Dorado defeated El Modena 29-27. El Modena is No. 15 in the county and was 3-0 going into this week. El Dorado (2-2) is not in the top 25, and why would the Golden Hawks be there? They lost to No. 21 El Toro 26-0 and to No. 23 Valencia 31-3.

You never know what you’re going to get in high school football. I always visit with coaches before a game, to check on injuries and find out what else is happening in their programs.

I’ll ask, “Did your team have a good week of practice?” And a coach will answer, “I don’t know. Ask me in two hours!”

That’s what makes Orange County high school football so fun. Maybe not fun for the coaches’ stomachs, but fun for the rest of us.

Orange County football will have more upsets next week, and the week after next and during the rest of the season.

Will I be surprised? Nope. And neither should you.

SWISS ARMY KNIFE

That’s Joey Hobert of San Juan Hills.

Hobert plays receiver and defensive back, punts and kicks and returns kickoffs and punts. In the Stallions’ 7-6 win Friday over Tesoro, Hobert, son of former University of Washington and NFL quarterback Billy Joe Hobert, scored the Stallions’ touchdown on a 2-yard shovel pass play and kicked the extra point to provide the winning margin.

All night Hobert showed his importance to the Stallions. That was clearly exhibited on a sequence of plays in the second quarter.

With Tesoro looking at second-and-7 at the San Juan Hills 18-yard line, Hobert sprinted 15 yards, swerving through blockers to tackle a Tesoro ball carrier for no gain. After the Titans failed to get a first down on the next play they attempted a 37-yard field goal that was blocked by Hobert. On San Juan Hills’ first offensive play after that, Hobert made a key block that sprung Stallions running back Chase Monarch for a 12-yard gain and a first down.

“He’s phenomenal,” San Juan Hills coach Robert Frith said of Hobert. “As good a player he is, he’s an even better kid.”

HE WAS READY

San Juan Hills, having been shut out in the first half Friday, turned to sophomore Hudson Jones to play quarterback in the second half.

“You’re looking for a spark there,” Frith said. “Give the sophomore a chance and see what he can do for us.”

Like Hobert, Jones has some good football DNA. His older brother, Cooper Jones, was Sea View League offensive player of the year in 2017 as the quarterback at El Toro.

Hudson Jones fumbled his first snap. The ball was recovered by San Juan Hills.

“I was nervous on the first play,” Jones said. “But I settled down after that.”

Yes, he did. Jones completed his first two passes, for 35 and 33 yards, and finished 9 of 12 for 150 yards.

Jones had only three varsity snaps before Friday. He got plenty of practice time with the starting unit the past few days.

“We all trusted him throughout the week,” Hobert said. Jones earned that trust and maybe the San Juan Hills starting quarterback role the rest of the season and beyond.

SEA KINGS VS. TRITONS

The Sea Kings were the ruling denizens of the deep Friday, beating San Clemente 21-20 by scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter.

They are going to be tough to beat in the Sunset League that has always-good Edison and Los Alamitos in it. Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach are 4-1.

A high school team with a potent passing game is difficult to beat. Corona del Mar has a potent passing game.

Against San Clemente, Ethan Garbers threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns, Bradley Schlom had 11 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown and John Humphreys had eight catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

OCEAN VIEW’S NICE VIEW

Ocean View has its best team in several years. In a battle of unbeatens, Ocean View cruised by Estancia 35-7 on Friday.

The Seahawks are 4-0 and look like the best team in the new four-team Pac-4 League that also has Godinz, Laguna Beach and Western in it.

They have nonleague games remaining against Dana Hills, Westminster and Cerritos. Those are winnable games for Ocean View. Maybe the Seahawks will be 10-0 at the end of the regular season.

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