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Orange County Prep Saturday : This Time Nemeth Makes the Difference for El Toro Against Newport Harbor

October 10, 1987|ANN KILLION | Times Staff Writer

El Toro High School didn't want to face that stranger, defeat, two weeks in a row.

And against a tough Newport Harbor team, the Chargers ultimately prevailed, 14-7, Friday night on Newport Harbor's Davidson Field.

"They weren't liking it last week," El Toro Coach Bob Johnson said about his players.

The Chargers suffered their first defeat in 18 games, losing last week to El Modena.

In that loss, junior tailback David Nemeth tried to carry the offensive load that would normally fall on the shoulders of injured quarterback Bret Johnson and wide receiver Chris McCarthy. Nemeth ran for 134 yards, including 93 in the first quarter.

Against Newport Harbor, reserve quarterback Jason Vivonia, usually a wide receiver, was impressive (8 of 16 for 145 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions).

However, Nemeth was again the offensive anchor with 116 yards. The important difference was that against the Sailors, Nemeth's big quarter was the fourth, when he ran for 68 yards and the winning touchdown.

Once El Toro broke the 7-7 tie, Nemeth's solid running allowed the Chargers to control the ball on the ground and eat up the clock.

In the third quarter, Nemeth fumbled the ball on first and goal at the Sailors' five-yard line, and Brian Kosi recovered for Newport Harbor, but that drive was stopped when El Toro's Adam de Malignon recovered a fumbled snap by Newport Harbor on the Newport Harbor 48.

That turnover set up the winning touchdown, Nemeth's five-yard run capping a 10-play Charger drive, helped by a Newport face-mask penalty.

El Toro and Newport Harbor each end nonleague play with 4-1 records.

El Toro had started the game impressively, stopping the Sailors' first drive, with Scott Egan's interception of a pass by Newport Harbor quarterback Kirk Summers.

It took the Chargers just two plays to score, a two-yard run by Nemeth followed by a 53-yard pass from Vivonia to fullback Ken Moorhead. Ken Romaniszyn's kick was good to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

But Newport Harbor was not intimidated. Two possessions later, the Sailors went 84 yards in 15 plays to score on running back Tom Walker's five-yard touchdown run. Walker finished the game with 55 yards in 19 carries.

And once they scored, the Sailors showed they could force turnovers, too. Defensive back Chris Hall picked off Vivonia's pass at the Newport six-yard line.

Each team had three turnovers. Before the half was over, the teams traded interceptions again.

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