El Toro High School has a big-play offense, a big-play defense and after a convincing 21-0 victory over Westminster Friday night at Westminster High, the right to claim--for the moment--that it is the top team in Orange County.
Now, if the Chargers' could just play well for an entire game.
There is no problem with the El Toro defense. Anchored by tackles Cory Wayland and Scott Spalding, it forced Westminster (1-1-1) to make six turnovers.
The problem is that the potent El Toro offense, led be junior quarterback Bret Johnson, tends to slumber after striking big.
El Toro (3-0) rolled up some impressive numbers in the first half with Johnson throwing a six-yard touchdown pass to Scott Miller in the first quarter and a 27-yard touchdown pass to Mike Hoelker in the second quarter. El Toro finished the scoring on a four-yard run by Aly Diaz with 57 seconds left in the first half.
Johnson completed 8 of 12 passes for 107 yards in the first half, but threw for only 38 yards in the second half. As he slowed, do did the Chargers, who got only as far as the Westminster 47-yard line in the second half, and that was on a pass interference penalty.
"We kinda lost our hump-tiddity in the second half," Bob Johnson, El Toro coach, said. "It didn't hurt us quite that much, but that's the second time."
Exactly what hump-tiddity is, Johnson wasn't specific. But after watching his team get shut out in the second half last week in a 31-12 victory over Fountain Valley, he may want to start looking.
In that game, Bret Johnson didn't complete a pass in the second half. Understand that He is the El Toro offense. El Toro throws on almost every down. So what's the problem?
"You hate to admit it, but when you get big leads like we have you have a tendency to let down in the second half," Johnson said. "I know the coaches don't want to hear that, but it happens."
El Toro's first touchdown came after an eight-play, 67-yard drive that ended with an acrobatic catch by Miller. Johnson made a play-action fake to running back Ron Chocklet and then threw to Miller in the corner of the end zone. The ball was tipped by Westminster defensive back Benny Mendoza, who also hit Miller. But Miller managed to pull the ball in with one hand as he was falling.
Miller, Johnson's favorite receiver, caught 7 passes for 67 yards.
El Toro took just five plays to score again when Hoelker streaked down the middle and past Westminster's secondary . Johnson's pass hit Hoelker in stride.
Despite the letdown, Bob Johnson could manage a sly smile afterwards when someone stated that he has the best team in Orange County.
"Well, we beat a great team tonight," he said. "I don't usually put much into polls, they're great for the fans, but every time I get a No. 1 ranking it seems I lose the next week. I'd prefer to have that No. 1 in January."
Johnson may be just a little too cautious since the prep football season ends in November.
Westminster quarterback Mike Austin had a bittersweet game--with emphasis on bitter. He out-passed Johnson by completing 12 of 26 attempts for 157 yards. But he also threw four interceptions. Adam Brass had two of the interceptions for El Toro.