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The Night the Ground Shook
Laguna Hills High School, Laguna Hills , CA
October 27, 2017 – 2:26am
The Chargers wanted to head into the playoffs with a surge and they did just that Friday at Laguna Hills high school as they beat the Hawks 42-7 in front of their home crowd on senior night. El Toro used a dominating rushing attack, some timely passes, and a relentless, swarming defense to dominate the game.
No, that wasn’t the sound of horse hooves galloping through Laguna Hills Friday night. It was the El Toro rushing attack. The Chargers ran the football behind their offensive line of Dominick Vasquez, Troy Teofilo, Kyle Whitesides, August Clark and Patrick Davis to the tune of 245 total rushing yards. That front 5 wrecking crew created running lanes all night long for the El Toro running backs. Steven Castaneda and Julian Bruce are a formidable one-two punch, and a stellar tandem in the backfield for the Chargers. Castaneda carried the football 21 times for 131 yards and Bruce 13 times for 109 yards. The two of them slashed and dashed to 3 TD’s (2 Castaneda, 1 Bruce).
El Toro quarterback Cooper Jones finished with 3 touchdown passes, one each to Austin Derrico, Shane Mclaughlin, and Noah Aguilar. Shane McLaughlin made a streaking sideline TD catch of 72 yards to cap the first half scoring and put the Chargers up and in control 28-7. Derrico also returned multiple punts for over 60 yards, and Mclaughlin had a kick return of 28 yards. Noah Aguilar did it all on both sides of the ball as he has all season long.
Matthew Freem drilled all 6 of his PAT’s and was given a shot on a 46 yard field goal that just missed. Freem also pinned the Hawks inside the 5 yard line on a punt, and put the opening kick of the game into the end zone. Late in the game Freem came up and made a nice hit and tackle on a ball carrier during a kick return who was threatening to break into the clear.
Defensively El Toro made it a long and frustrating night for the Hawks. El Toro forced 2 turnovers, a fumble caused by a joint tackle from Mike Brown and John Betts that jarred the ball loose and allowed Nick Martinez to come up with it, and another on an interception by Jake Landry at the end of the 1st half. The Hawks completed only 1 pass all evening due to an intense pass rush that tallied 4 sacks ( Martinez, Brown, Carpenter & DiTammaso together on one, and Poderoso). The Chargers defense also racked up 10 tackles for losses on Laguna Hills rushing plays. Tackle leaders on the game were Wes Henderson (7), Sam Whipple (6) and Raymond Carpenter (6). Zach Raigosa had multiple tackles and batted down a pass, while John Betts, Mike Brown, Bradley DiTommaso, Charles Poderoso, Nick Martinez, and Jake Landry had multiple tackles in the game.
What those stats don’t say in how the defensive unit played together with intensity and focus. Coach Mayoral always preaches to his players the importance of alignment, assignment, and arriving to the football in a foul mood. The Chargers did all 3.
Coach Mayoral and his staff now get 2 weeks to prepare for the first round of the playoffs on November 10th. Their opponent and game venue won’t be known until CIF-SS playoff brackets are released after high school schedules are completed next Friday night. The release likely will be Sunday mid-morning and will post to CIF-SS websites and OC Varsity will give live bracket and seeding updates.
The Chargers worked hard all season to get to the dance, and now they get to show their moves on the floor. You can be sure the Charger Nation will be behind them all the way through every playoff round.
Victory and Go Chargers!
EL TORO HS – LAKE FOREST, CA
OCTOBER 20TH, 2017 10:42 PM
THE CHARGERS ARE A STEP CLOSER TO PLAYOFF SPOT WITH 40-0 WIN OVER DANA HILLS
The Chargers defense came out Friday, in front of an energetic packed Homecoming crowd at El Toro high school, and translated that energy into 3 turnovers and a shut-out of the Dana Hills Dolphins. Of those turnovers, Jake Landry had a sprawling interception in the first half and Bingem Pellin picked off the Dolphins on the final play of the game to preserve the shut-out. Raymond Carpenter accounted for the 3rd turnover when he alertly pounced on a loose football and recovered the fumble. Wes Henderson was in the Dana Hills backfield often and tallied 3 sacks by himself on the night. The Chargers were active and relentless in their pressure as Head Coach Mike Mayoral’s defensive schemes were highly effective throughout the game.
The Chargers used a balanced attack on offense and big plays on special teams to account for their 40 points. Austin Derrico had an outstanding game with 4 TD’s, 2 punt returns for TD’s, and 2 through the air. Derrico had punt returns of 48 and 45 yards and had 2 TD catches, the first from 13 yards out and the second was a 35 yards strike from Cooper Jones.
Noah Aguilar had 6 receptions for 87 yards to lead the team. Ryan Dietz hauled in a 10 yard pass over the middle in the back of the end zone for a TD in the second half. Shane McLaughlin and Julian Bruce had key catches to move the sticks and keep drives moving.
Cooper Jones completed 78% of his passes and finished 17 0f 22 for 210 yards with 3 TD’s and 1 interception.
Julian Bruce carried the load almost exclusively on the the ground for the Chargers as Steven Castaneda was out of action this week healing up. Bruce was explosive and elusive and he rushed the ball 13 times for 84 yards averaging 6.5 yards per carry behind his talented offensive line. Dominick Vasquez (LT), Kyle Whitesides ©, August Clark (G), Troy Teofilo (G), and Patrick Davis (RT) were opening holes and giving the passing game the time it needed to complete balls. And one more thing about running back Julian Bruce…..he also caught 4 passes for another 28 yards just for good measure.
Derrico had the 2 punt returns for TD’s, but that wasn’t all that was happening on special teams. Matthew Freem had quite a game drilling two field goals right down the middle. One from 34 yards out on the right hash, and the other from 42 yards out. He also sent kick-offs into the end zone all night helping El Toro to control field position. John Betts began everything on the opening kick of the game by returning the it 40 yards up the right sidleline….the spark that ignited the fire. And Noah Aguilar also had a 25 yard punt return.
It was a solid victory for the Blue and Gold on homecoming night. El Toro now can secure a playoff spot with a victory next Friday at Laguna Hills against the Hawks. That game will kick off at 7:00pm.
By NATHANIEL PERCY | Orange County Register/OC Varsity
LAKE FOREST – It might not have been as high-scoring as some expected, but Capistrano Valley and El Toro still provided quite the quarterback battle Friday night.
In the end it was Capistrano Valley’s Nathan Manning who provided the final blow, tossing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Michael Dyer with 1:28 left to put the game out of reach, leading the Cougars to a 26-14 Sea View League win.
The Cougars, who trailed 14-10 at halftime, shut out the Chargers in the second half while scoring 16 points.
“He was a little hurried in the first half,” Cougars coach Ernie Bucher said of Manning. “We showed him at halftime that he had time. It was one little adjustment and he was good to go.”
Manning tossed two of his three touchdowns in the second half and kicker Ben Selecky booted one of his two field goals.
As for the defense, Bucher said he didn’t change much at halftime.
“We didn’t do a whole lot differently in the second half than we did in the first half,” Bucher said. “They’re a good football team. They’re going to get their points. We just played a little better (in the second half).”
El Toro quarterback Cooper Jones tossed two touchdown passes in the first half and finished with 308 yards on 17-of-33 passing.
Manning started the scoring by lofting a pass to Dyer deep in the end zone. The slot receiver made a leaping catch over El Toro linebacker Sam Whipple for a 7-0 lead.
Jones responded in the second quarter with an 83-yard catch-and-run to Noah Aguilar and a 13-yard TD to Austin Derrico on back-to-back drives for a 14-7 lead.
Selecky booted a 37-yard field goal and the Cougars (8-0, 2-0) trailed 14-10 at halftime.
Jones hit Aguilar for 61 yards, setting up El Toro (4-4, 1-1) at the Cougars’ 13-yard line to open the second half. But an intentional grounding call, tackle-for-loss by Jayce Hunter and a sack by Juan Carlos Saldivar left the Chargers out of field goal range.
“That was a huge momentum swing and that was probably the best third quarter we’ve played all year,” Bucher said.
Manning hit Jake Werner for a 15-yard TD on the Cougars’ next possession to give Capo the lead for good, 16-14. Selecky later hit a 38-yard field goal before Manning’s final TD pass to Dyer.
Aguilar led all receivers with 178 yards on seven catches. Dyer finished with 120 yards on 10 catches for the Cougars.
Game photos by Debbie Braasch from our win over Aliso Niguel have posted. Use the below link to view and access them.
To select previous games use this link here and select the game:
Thank you Debbie for the wonderful photography you do each week! Go Chargers!!
Ground game gives El Toro extra push to pull away from Aliso Niguel
By MICHAEL HUNTLEY | Orange County Register/ OC VARSITY
PUBLISHED: October 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm
ALISO VIEJO – No. 14 El Toro showed off its offensive versatility in a 41-24 victory over No. 24 Aliso Niguel on Friday in a Sea View League game.
The Chargers are known mostly for their prolific passing offense, but demonstrated the ability to run the ball and control the clock. Steven Castaneda and Julian Bruce rushed for 95 and 90 yards, respectively, on a combined 26 carries.
“Any time you can run the football it’s a benefit to you,” El Toro coach Mike Mayoral said.
Cooper Jones threw the ball well as well. The senior quarterback completed 15 of 20 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns.
“That’s who Cooper is. He’s an outstanding young man,” Mayoral said. “He’s got great character and he plays like a 6-foot-8 guy. He’s really special.”
The turning point in the game was late in the third quarter. After an interception by Jake Landry (his second pick of the game, the first was a pick 6), Jones threw a 90-yard touchdown pass to Shane Mclaughlin to extend the El Toro lead to 10.
“The ball was a little bit underthrown but Shane Mclaughlin made a great play and scored for me. It was nice,” Jones said.
Jones threw two other touchdown passes, both to Austin Derrico (Austin also had an interception). The trio of Mclaughlin, Derrico and Noah Aguilar caught 13 passes for 227 yards.
“My job is to get the ball in their hands. I personally believe I have the best playmakers in the county,” Jones said. “It’s my job to get it in their hands and they do the rest.”
Aliso Niguel (4-3, 0-1) moved the ball well but had three turnovers. Receiver Tyler Jones caught 12 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s a good football player so he was definitely on our mind,” Mayoral said. “We added a little something this week to try to slow him down. Overall we kept him in check which was our gameplan.”
Aliso quarterback Kyle Robertson threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown.
El Toro (4-3, 1-0) plays No. 11 Capistrano Valley next week in what will potentially decide the Sea View League championship.
“I’m sure in both of our minds it’s a league championship game,” Jones said. “We have to execute a lot better than we did tonight. I think we will come out with a ‘W’ if we play a hard game.”