MENIFEE — With his sturdy, 180-pound frame, sophomore Brent Boehm certainly looks like a starting quarterback.
On Friday night, he played like one.
Boehm, filling in for the injured Logan Tutwiler, passed and ran like a veteran, leading Paloma Valley to a 33-13 nonleague victory over visiting Bloomington.
"Our team played good. We've got some heart, and we can only get better," said Boehm, who completed 16 of 20 passes for 200 yards and three second-half touchdowns, while adding 35 yards rushing on five attempts.
"He's a very capable young man," Paloma Valley coach Bert Esposito said. "At this point in time, he's well ahead of my previous quarterbacks when they were sophomores.
"If we keep spoon-feeding him a little bit and give him some more confidence, he's going to be all right."
Leading by only seven at halftime, Esposito was eager to get his offense on the field. He called for an onside kick, which Dejon Golden recovered.
Eight plays later, Boehm found Patrick Santhavisouk for an 11-yard touchdown, extending Paloma Valley's lead to 20-7.
"Everything's going good," Santhavisouk said. "Boehm's doing great. He'll be ready to go by league."
Bloomington (3-2) cut it to 20-13 when Ezekiel Herndon — filling in for senior quarterback Demetreus Moore, who injured his throwing hand just before halftime — ran it in from 9 yards out early in the fourth quarter.
But the Wildcats, who gained 385 total yards, answered quickly. Boehm led a three-play, 67-yard charge, finishing it with a 32-yard completion to Anthony Johnston (eight receptions, 114 yards).
Even when a play broke down, the steady Boehm still made a play.
An errant shotgun snap sailed 10 yards behind Boehm. But he calmly scooped it up and tossed the ball to Tim Stewart, who took the screen pass 20 yards for the game's final touchdown.
"Even if something goes wrong, you gotta keep going with the play," Boehm said. "I was just thinking, ‘Find Tim, find Tim.' "
Stewart — who finished with 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and added 54 yards on four receptions — helped the Wildcats get off to a good start, rushing for 50 yards on their opening drive. He broke two tackles en route to a 35-yard touchdown, giving Paloma Valley a 7-0 lead.
The Bruins responded with a 10-play, 90-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. After failing to run it in twice from the 1-yard line, Moore used his entire 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame to push his way into the end zone on 4th-and-goal, knotting the game at 7 with 7:05 remaining in the second quarter.
It looked like Bloomington would soon get the ball back. Paloma faced a third-and-10 at its own 46-yard line. But Boehm's high pass to Johnston went for 40 yards Bloomington's 14-yard line.
Two plays later, Stewart swept to his right and scored from 11 yards out, putting the Wildcats up 14-7 at halftime.