An unsuccessful field goal attempt by El Toro High School as time ran out gave Capistrano Valley a 22-21 South Coast League victory over the Chargers Friday night in front of 7,000 at Capistrano Valley.
El Toro kicker Ken Romaniszyn's 51-yard attempt landed in the middle of the end zone. The kick came after El Toro had driven 46 yards, from its 20, in less than 50 seconds.
El Toro quarterback Bret Johnson, who completed 19 of 37 passes for 279 yards, threw for the entire 46 yards on the drive. But with the ball on the Capistrano Valley 34, Johnson threw three consecutive incompletions.
Capistrano Valley (8-0, 3-0) scored the game's winning touchdown with 2:25 left when running back Matt Spence scored on a two-yard run.
Spence's touchdown run and a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Todd Marinovich to Davy Rawson put Capistrano Valley ahead, 22-15.
El Toro (5-3, 1-2) scored less than a minute later when Johnson completed a 45-yard pass for a touchdown to Sean Drinkwater.
The pass fell into Drinkwater's hands as Capistrano Valley defensive back Tommy Adams fell down.
However, El Toro's two-point conversion attempt, a pass from Johnson to wide receiver Chris McCarthy, was incomplete.
Capistrano Valley, attempting to run out the clock, could do no better than take the time down to 56 seconds.
That's when Johnson started El Toro's last march.
The game was billed as a showdown between Johnson and Marinovich, the state's two top quarterbacks.
Johnson completed more passes for more yards but came up the loser. Marinovich, who completed 10 of 21 passes for 161 yards, knows the feeling. Last season Marinovich bettered Johnson statistically but Capistrano Valley lost, 17-15.
"Anyway we could beat them, that's great for me," Marinovich said. "A win is a win. Thank God we held them. I've never been so tired in my life."
If Marinovich was the focal point for Capistrano Valley coming into the game, Spence ended up being the Cougars' key weapon.
Spence gained 169 yards in 18 carries and scored 2 touchdowns.
It was Spence's 77-yard run for a touchdown that gave Capistrano Valley a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Capistrano Valley's first touchdown came with 2:06 left in the first quarter when Marinovich completed a six-yard pass for a touchdown to Toney Jenkins.
El Toro scored on the last play of the first half, when Adam Brass scored from the one.
El Toro took the lead, 15-14, with 5:46 left on a three-yard pass from Johnson to Bobby Gaskins and a subsequent two-point conversion pass from Johnson to McCarthy.
HOW THEY FARED
Name Att Com Yards TD Int BRET JOHNSON 37 19 279 2 0 TODD MARINOVICH 21 10 161 1 1