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Agoura Takes Frontier Crown, 24-7 : Heflin Passes an Important Test as Chargers Defend Their Title

November 14, 1987|STEVE ELLING | Times Staff Writer

Talk about your false advertising. Bogus television pitchman Joe Isuzu couldn't have done a better job of selling something this misleading.

Agoura High, you see, has a passing game that's supposed to be as accurate as those obnoxious TV auto ads. Last week, for example, Agoura threw for a net two yards.

That's no misprint. Two. And they came on a halfback option.

You quickly got the feeling Friday night, however, that any passing gremlins haunting Agoura Coach Frank Greminger were a figment of someone's imagination.

Agoura quarterback Scott Heflin threw touchdown passes of 5 and 13 yards and completed 8 of 16 passes for 175 yards as Agoura defeated Santa Clara, 24-7, in a homecoming game at Agoura. The victory gave the Chargers their second consecutive Frontier League title and third in four seasons.

For everybody involved in the Charger passing attack, it was a chance to prove that criticism of the passing game was unfounded.

"We haven't been able to put it in the air all year," said Heflin, a 6-foot, 165-pound senior. "We knew that the passing game was something we had to have this game because they scouted us last week when nothing worked."

Heflin, making his second appearance after suffering a rotator cuff injury to his right arm, called it the game of his career. His two touchdown passes equaled his season output, and his 175 yards were far and away the best statistics in a season that had seen the Chargers pass for a total of 385 yards in nine previous games.

"This had to be my game," he said. "There were times I didn't think I'd ever throw the ball again, but we knew tonight the passing game was critical. It had to be tonight--all the fans, homecoming, the league title.

"I wanted this Frontier League championship patch, and now that makes two."

Greminger said others may have dismissed the passing game with hardly a passing thought, but he knew that Agoura had the ability all along.

"We've had quarterback problems this year,' Greminger said. "But this is a team sport, and everybody contributed."

Agoura (7-3, 4-0) relied on the ground game, however, to take a 7-0 lead. Running back Dave Friedl, who scored two touchdowns and rushed for 42 yards, scored from six yards behind a crushing lead block from backfield mate Doug Hastings.

On its first possession of the second quarter, Heflin hit tight end Shambi Huddleston with a five-yard pass to give Agoura a 14-0 lead.

Santa Clara (7-3, 3-1), however, jumped back into the game with an aerial score of its own. Sophomore quarterback Tim Gutierrez, who completed 18 of 38 passes for 191 yards and 3 interceptions, connected with receiver Richard Mendez for a one-yard touchdown.

Agoura, however, managed to score twice in the final two minutes of the first half.

Taking possession at its own 34 with 1:52 left, Agoura drove 57 yards on five plays for the touchdown, the final play a 13-yard swing pass from Heflin to Freidl, who scooted past Santa Clara's Kwinn Knight at the five.

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