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The El Toro Freshmen Chargers and the San Juan Hills Stallions met on Wednesday afternoon for the final game of the season and for what would turn out to be a great come back victory for the Freshmen Chargers. The game started off with back and forth touchdown drives by each team and an El Toro Touchdown run by #23 Adrian Mendoza. Mendoza set the tone to start with some hard runs to get the offense into the red zone before punching it in. The rest of the first half turned in a few drives for the Chargers offense that did not result any points and the defense allowing the Stallions to score three more times to make the halftime score 28-6 Stallions.
The Chargers took the half time to get focused and get fired up to play their last 24 minutes of the season. Coach Tisdale and the coaching staff deciding to make some changes on defense during half-time, and the spark was led by #1 Dylan Reynolds seeing the defensive side of the field for the first time this season. The defense began to wreak havoc on the Stallions offense, On the first defensive series of the second half Reynolds forced a fumble and recovered it giving the ball to the Chargers offense for the first time in the second half to begin their comeback. #12 Stephen Gutierrez led the offense down the field with a big completion to #81 Brent McClellan and another one to #21 Jaden Bates but were unable to punch it in and turned it over on downs. The offense showed it was ready and starting to put things together and make some big plays.
The Chargers defense fired up continued to give the Stallions trouble with Reynolds forcing another fumble and recovering it on the Stallions 45-yard line. Gutierrez behind the protection of his Chargers offensive line#75 Collin Duval, #76 Brendon Gardner, #56 Nathan Hollenbaugh and #78 Jamison Zonaga took advantage of the turn-over this time and hit #25 Bryce Miller for a 20-yard gain which setup a TD run on the next play by #10 Adam Vilte following his downfield blocking by #25 Miller and #32 Timothy Brenner. Gutierrez finished the drive off with a run to score the 2-Point conversion making the score 28-14. Chargers defense took the field again after the kickoff and didn’t let up, Chargers defense made several tackles for a loss with Reynolds and #42 Ryan Cote living in the Stallions backfield, Reynolds forced another fumble and he recovered the ball on the Stallions 34-yard line. Gutierrez and the Charger offense wasted no time taking advantage, as Gutierrez hit #28 Josh Peters on a go route for a huge Chargers TD and capped it off when Adam Vilte hit the extra point making the score 28-21.
Raul Franco #19 on the ensuing kickoff pinned the Stallions deep, putting the Chargers defense in great position. The defense still fired up made 3 more tackles for a loss forcing the Stallions to punt from their end zone, the defense feeling it go all out on the punt block and Reynolds getting into the air blocked the punt and gave the Chargers offense the ball on the 9-yard line. Gutierrez and the offense take over and on the first play, Gutierrez rolls to the right and ran it in for the touchdown, Gutierrez hit #81 Brent McClellan over the middle for a two-point conversion to take the lead at 29-28 with about 9 minutes left in the game.
The Chargers defense still having their way with the Stallions offense, Reynolds forces another fumble that was recovered by #34 Caleb Johnson, however the Stallions were not going away quietly put together a defensive stand and forced the Chargers to punt after the turnover. The Stallions than put together a drive of their own to score, however the Charger defense stood tall and prevented the two-point conversion making the score 34-29 Stallions.
1:53 seconds left in the game, after the kickoff by the Stallions the Chargers offense took over and marched it down the field 75 yards with some great runs by #5 Niiko Antoniou, #10 Adam Vilte and #22 Dimitri Kupauloff getting the Chargers into the red zone, Gutierrez rolling to his right saw an opening and took off to the end zone making a diving play to the pylon to score in epic fashion and take the lead back. Gutierrez hit Dimitri Kupauloff in the end zone for anther two-point conversion to make it a 3-point game and the score 37-34 Chargers with 12 seconds left in the game.
The Stallions still not going away on the kickoff had a seam and had a great run back, however #19 Raul Franco made a crushing game saving tackle on the far sideline to prevent them from scoring. The Chargers Defense stood strong and knocked down the game winning pass attempt as time ran out. The Chargers ran off into the sunset with an epic comeback win and celebration, it was a great effort by the entire team and so many players on the day making big plays, showing a lot of heart and fighting all the way back from a 28-6 halftime score. It was a game that will be remembered by all the Coaches, Players and the parents/fans that witnessed it first hand. What a way to end the season Chargers…
NO. 23 EL TORO 42, LAGUNA HILLS 21
October 28, 2016 11:26 PM
By NATHAN PERCY – OC Varsity STAFF WRITER
LAKE FOREST – It’s safe to say No. 23 El Toro deserves a week off.
Perhaps no one deserves it more than offensive linemen Conrad Frick, Dominick Vasquez, Kevin Frum, Angel Rodriguez and Kyle Whitesides, who paved the way for 665 total offensive yards for the Chargers in a 42-21 Sea View League win over Laguna Hills on Friday at El Toro High.
Running backs Marcus Blevins and AJ Aguilar scored three touchdowns each and combined for 378 rushing yards to key the offense. Quarterback Cooper Jones completed 21 of 32 passes for 287 yards and an interception, while Noah Aguilar caught four passes for 135 yards.
“They deserve a week off, it’s a grind … it was a rough 10 (games),” Chargers coach Mike Mayoral said. “I’m just happy for our kids. We’re going to go to the dance.”
Four turnovers plagued the Chargers and allowed Laguna Hills (5-4, 1-2) to keep the game close. On back-to-back drives, Nathan Montes returned an interception 60 yards for a TD and Logan Montgomery returned a fumble 55 yards for a score to cut El Toro’s lead to 28-21 early in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers responded with back-to-back scoring drives ending in a 15-yard TD run by Aguilar and a 1-yard TD plunge by Blevins.
El Toro (4-6, 3-1) has the No. 2 seed out of the Sea View League and will have a Week 10 bye before the Division 2 playoffs.
The Hawks’ lone offensive touchdown came on a 64-yard run by Zac Crowe on the fourth of the game. Crowe finished with 98 yards on 13 carries.
Montes finished with two interceptions for the Hawks. Sam Whipple intercepted a pass for El Toro.
The ET Freshman and the Laguna Hills Hawks started this Sea View League contest with scores on each of their opening drives. The Chargers jumped on top with a 43-yard touchdown by Logan Jolliffe and Laguna’s first offensive play went for 78 yards to make the score 7-6 Hawks. ET took its second offensive possession and marched 75 yards down the field as Connor Kentros found the end zone to make the score 14-7. The game was starting to look like whoever had the ball last was going to win. That’s when the Chargers defense took it upon themselves to defend “Our House”. The defense had many stars on this day including the play of defensive end #14 Anthony Moran as he was in the Hawks backfield all day long. Mike Linebacker #7 Milo Pina was laying some big hits and the Chargers secondary was lock down as ET took a 21-7 lead into halftime. The Chargers kicked off to open the second half and on the Hawks second play from scrimmage #2 Drake Martin picked off a pass and took it to the house! After #10 Adam Vilte kicked the extra point the Chargers took a 28-7 lead. ET added one more score by Niko Antoniou to make the final 34-7. With the victory the Chargers secured second place (3-1) in the Sea View League. The Chargers will have one more non-league game next Wednesday at home vs San Juan Hills.
ET’s O-Line was again dominant vs the Hawks.
Varsity Banquet Tickets
The Coach Richard Beatie Football Scholarship Award