San Clemente FB Historical Highlights

San Clemente QB Sam Darnold throws on the run during game last season. He led the team to 12 wins. Photo: Craig Takata/

San Clemente QB Sam Darnold throws on the run during game last season. He led the team to 12 wins against just two losses. Photo: Craig Takata/

Tritons went all the way to the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division final last season with one of the top QBs in the nation. They now have all of their scores in one archive provided by Cal-Hi Sports.

Up next in this series: Crespi (Encino). For more on the Cal-Hi Sports football archives project and on how we can help your school, CLICK HERE.

San Clemente was incorporated as a city in 1928, but it wasn’t until 1964 that the newly-built high school by the same name fielded its first football team.

Unlike most first-year teams, the Tritons did not struggle. They won their first game 32-0 over Army-Navy of Carlsbad and were 5-1 before finishing 6-2-1.

Since then, San Clemente football has been like most California schools. There’s been some outstanding eras – especially when head coaches Allie Schaff, Mark McElroy and Eric Patton were leading the program – but there also have been some down times, especially in the 1980s.

The most exceptional group of players may have been in 2011. When Patton had to resign unexpectedly just before the start of the season, the Tritons nonetheless came together and ended up in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division title game. They didn’t win that night against Santa Margarita, but the playoff run no doubt will be remembered at the school for years to come.

That 2011 team featured quarterback Travis Wilson, who went on to star at the University of Utah. The Tritons were then blessed to have another big-time signal caller just last season in Sam Darnold. He is now at USC and was named the Orange County Offensive Player of the Year in leading the team to another CIFSS championship game appearance.

Last year’s team finished 12-2 despite its heart-breaking 44-37 loss in the final to a Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo team that the Tritons had defeated 42-35 earlier in the season.

In the semifinals, San Clemente had to survive an upset bid by league rival Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo. Its history of games against the Cougars is perhaps the most interesting among all local schools. That’s because in the first 19 games played between them, Capo Valley went 17-0-1 after losing the first game. Since then, however, the Tritons have not lost in 16 straight games against the Cougars, which means the rivalry stands at a reported 17-17-1 heading into 2015.

While Darnold is gone, head coach Jaime Ortiz has a solid core of linemen and others who are back. The future of San Clemente football seems to be in more than good shape.

Here are some of the other San Clemente records that the school now has in its possession courtesy of this archive initiative:
San Clemente logo

282 WINS, 244 LOSSES, 11 TIES

(Based on half-win, half-loss for ties)

Most Points Scored (Single Game)
59 – VS. Foothill (Tustin), 1998
59 – VS. Fountain Valley, 2010
59 – VS. Jordan (Long Beach), 2013
58 – VS. La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad), 2011
57 – VS. Dana Hills (Dana Point), 1996

Most Lopsided Wins
56-0 – VS. Laguna Hills, 1978
56-0 – VS. West Adams (Los Angeles), 2012
57-3 – VS. Dana Hills (Dana Point), 1996
59-6 – VS. Jordan (Long Beach), 2013

Most Points Allowed (Single Game)
70 – VS. Mission Viejo, 2013

Most Lopsided Loss
55-0 – VS. Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo), 1988

Records Against Notable Opponents
29-10-1 – VS. Dana Hills (Dana Point)
14-7-1 – VS. Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo)
8-4-0 – VS. Tesoro (Las Flores)
17-17-1 – VS. Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo)*
15-18-1 – VS. El Toro (Lake Forest)
12-37-1 – VS. Mission Viejo

Longest Win Streak*
10 – 1975 season (lost last game after 10-0 start)

Longest Losing Streak*
11 – 1987, 1988 seasons (lost last seven games of 87, then next four in 88)

*There are no additional winning streaks or losing streaks at 10 games or more.

Remember, any school in the state can have this research finished in a customized fashion in return for a reasonable fee. For details, CLICK HERE.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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