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La Habra finishes strong to beat El Toro
August 26, 2016 11:28 PM
By DAN ALBANO
OC VARSITY STAFF WRITER
The Highlanders rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting El Toro, 42-34, in a back-and-fourth season-opening game for both teams.
El Toro led, 26-24, early in the fourth but the Highlanders – known for their dramatic Hail Mary passes last season en route to the CIF-SS Southwest title – scored three consecutive touchdowns in a span of about 21/2 minutes to hold off El Toro.
In a game with seven lead changes, La Habra scored the go-ahead points on a 49-yard yard touchdown catch by Pervis Henderson with 8:28 left in the fourth.
Henderson cut in front of his defender to catch a high-arching, deep pass from quarterback Zach Fogel to give the Highlanders a 30-26 lead.
Moments later, La Habra linebacker Marcus Carrasco returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown and 36-26 advantage.
La Habra’s Adalberto Gutierrez recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff – the Highlanders’ second recovery on a kickoff – and running Eli Anderson capitalized with a 6-yard TD run with 5:54 left as La Habra led, 42-26.
El Toro quarterback Cooper Jones tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Austin Derrico with 4:19 left, but La Habra forced a late fumble at the Chargers’ 10 to seal the victory.
La Habra’s hard-hitting defense, led by safety Madison Wheeler, forced five turnovers, including an interception by the senior. The Highlanders, however, were twice called for striking the head on big hits, had one player ejected and racked up the penalty yards.
Anderson rushed for 124 yards and four TDs while Henderson also added an 80-yard TD catch in the second half.
Jones, a junior, passed for 324 yards and three TDs, working well with Derrico, Noah Aguilar and Shane McLaughlin.
El Toro led at halftime, 16-12, behind three field goals by Matt Freem and an efficient Jones.
Jones led the Chargers to scores on four of their five possessions. Freem kicked field goals of 25, 23 and 33 yards.
El Toro took a 13-12 lead early in the second quarter on Jones’ 14-yard touchdown pass on a short slant to Derrico and an extra-point by Freem.
Jones completed 15 of 24 passes for 195 yards in the first half
The El Toro Freshman opened up their high school careers yesterday in La Habra. They personified all that is good with El Toro Football. Truth, Honesty, and Integrity. They played as a team, battled to the end, but just fell short to La Habra 34-27. The future at El Toro is bright. Check out the freshman page at www.etfootball.com to stay up-to-date with the team. Thanks to Tim Reynolds, we have some great photos in the Freshman album. Go Chargers!!
The El Toro Freshman opened up their high school careers in La Habra Thursday against the talented and well respected Highlanders. La Habra took the opening kickoff and put together a 15 play drive to open up the scoring. El Toro’s offense came out and after a first down run by Mike Brown were forced to punt. On the very next play La Habra completed a 40-yard pass down to the Charger 10-yard line. The Chargers defense tighten and forced a missed field goal to end the first quarter down 7-0. The Highlanders defense forced a 3 and out and took over at midfield. Four plays later La Habra connected on a 35-yard TD pass to take a 14-0 lead. Down 14-0 the Chargers started to fend off the opening day jitters. El Toro behind a fantastic offensive line put together a 65-yard drive capped off by a touchdown pass from Dylan Reynolds to Logan Jolliffe to cut the Highlanders lead in half. The Highlanders struck again quickly to take a 21-7 lead with two minutes left in the half. The Chargers two-minute offense took over. Steven Gutierrez led El Toro down the field going 3 for 3 on the drive. Connor Kentros plunged into the end zone as the wildcat quarterback from 4 yards out with only 5 ticks left on the clock to make the score 21-13 at half. The Highlanders came out of the half and quickly scored twice in third quarter to make it 34-13. That is when the Charger comeback started. After three completions by Gutierrez the offensive line took over again. Logan Jolliffe electrified the Charger faithful with a 45-yard touchdown run to cut the Highlander lead to 34-19 to end the third quarter. The Chargers defense stiffened and Adan Vilte made a touchdown saving tackle to give the offense the ball back. Gutierrez marched the Chargers down the field eventually connecting with Timothy Brenner from 35-yards out. After a two-point conversion by Mike Brown, the Chargers pulled within 7, 34-27 late in the fourth quarter. The Chargers attempted an onside kick but were unable to recover it and with only two minutes left the Highlanders ran out the clock. The Chargers showed a tremendous amount of heart and effort on this day. The ET Freshman have a bright future ahead! Next week the Chargers will take on JSerra on Saturday at 10:00am at “Our House”! Make sure you come out and cheer them on.
On Tuesday August 23rd at the 2016 season kick-off event, the El Toro football players were introduced in front of a cheering crowd of fans, family, and friends. And the awesome ET Cheer teams brought their Charger spirit and enthusiasm to the gathering in anticipation of the new season. After dinner and the team and cheer introductions, the event culminated in the unveiling of the new Chargers football locker room. Thanks to all in the ET Nation who contributed and donated to the effort to get this project completed. Thanks to the School Administration and SV District support through this process, and thank you to the Boosters, past and present, who took this project on and then ran with it to the finish line. It is a proud day for all Chargers past and present.
Go Chargers…It’s time to play football!
For photos go to www.etfootball.com and open the photo album or use the below link:
Photography by Art Aguilar
The 2016 senior class is looking for a big season as they kick off against La Habra on Friday night at La Habra High School. Well seasoned and talented veteran seniors such as the linebacker duo of AJ Aguilar and Tyler Romo will lead the defense. The El Toro senior big men look to have a huge impact in 2016. A physical and disciplined offensive line will be led by Kevin Frum (Center) and Conrad Frick (LT), also Ben Chretin, Nick Turpin, Angel Rodriguez as well as Anthony Martinez and Luis Guzman. On the defensive line Andrew Aguilar will be a presence and he can also flip to the O-line. Defensive Ends Will Greene, Robert Brandenburg, and also Jeremiah Allen and Patrick Kotnik will be opposing QB’s worst nightmare. Shifting to the defensive secondary the Chargers are in good hands with talented Jacob Williams and Marcel Lee as well as Xavier Islas. On the offensive skill side El Toro senior RB Marcus Blevins looks to continue what he started last season, and also RB, #30, Tom Pestritto. At the Tight End/Wide Receiver spot Chris Sawaya looks to have a huge year as he builds upon last years success and a very productive summer and fall camp.
Every senior is committed heavily to the success of the Chargers as they shoot for a league championship, playoff birth and a CIF Playoff run that goes a long way. ET Charger Nation is proud of our seniors as they begin the 2016 campaign!
Go to Photo Albums on home page and choose 2016 Seniors to view large picture
Pictured from left to right:
74 Ben Chretin OL, 24 Marcel Lee, DB, 18 Jacob Williams DB, 21 AJ Aguilar OLB, 2 Jeremiah Allen DE, 44 Tyler Romo OLB, 77 Andrew Aguilar, DL/OL,
71 Nick Turpin OL, 87 Will Green DE, 75 Conrad Frick OL, 58 Robert Brandenburg DE, 42 Patrick Kotnik DE, 9 Chris Sawaya TE/WR, 76 Angel Rodriguez OL,
31 Marcus Blevins RB, 8 Xavier Islas DB, 30 Tom Pestritto RB, 52 Kevin Frum C, 54 Luis Guzman OL, 70 Anthony Martinez OL
visit www.etfootball.com for more