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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL : El Toro's Johnson Is Injured : Quarterback Hurts Knee as Chargers Beat Fountain Valley

September 18, 1987|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | Times Staff Writer

El Toro High School won its football game against Fountain Valley, 18-11, Thursday night in LaBard Stadium, but lost quarterback Bret Johnson to a yet-to-be-diagnosed knee injury.

Johnson, considered to be one of the country's best high school quarterbacks, was sacked with 2:10 left and the Chargers leading, 18-11. A group of Fountain Valley tacklers swarmed upon him at the Chargers' 30-yard line.

Bob Johnson, El Toro coach, would only say that Bret, his son, "will see the doctors tomorrow (Friday)." Neither he nor Bret would talk about what happened on the play.

Mike Milner, the Fountain Valley coach and a friend of the Johnsons, said, "I've known Bret for a long time. It's a shame what happened."

Johnson completed 13 of 26 passes for 218 yards and threw for 3 touchdowns. He also ran for 30 yards in 5 carries.

His 20-yard scoring pass to Ken Moorhead, giving El Toro an 18-3 lead midway through the third quarter, provided the winning points.

On the next play after Johnson's injury, David Nemeth, Charger running back, fumbled, and the Barons (0-2) recovered at the El Toro 31.

Fountain Valley then drove to the one-yard line, but on fourth down, quarterback David Henigan threw an incomplete pass into the end zone as time ran out. Fountain Valley had used all of its timeouts, and Henigan was just trying to kill the clock.

Henigan put on an impressive display on the drive, completing a clutch fourth-down pass for a 15-yard gain to tight end Steve Stafford.

Stafford leaped between three El Toro defenders to snare the pass at the five. El Toro then sacked Henigan for a two-yard loss. The yardage wasn't the big damage, however, as the play killed valuable time the Barons needed.

Johnson's first two touchdowns came easily. The first, which gave the Chargers a 6-0 lead, came on a well-executed fake to Nemeth, who gained 67 yards in 19 carries. He then rolled to his left and threw to Sean Drinkwater, who had slipped behind the Baron defense, to complete a 54-yard touchdown.

On the second one, Johnson rolled to his right and threw back left, across his body, to Jason Vivonia, who was slanting through the middle of the Baron defense.

Vivonia then split the defense and went 47 yards, untouched, to give the Chargers a 12-3 lead with 8:52 left in the half.

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