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Taft Stars Score Early, Rest Late, in 49-7 Rout


WOODLAND HILLS — A 42-point victory may not be an antidote for accusations that Taft High runs up the score.

But in defense of the Toreadors, most of their offense against visiting Chatsworth on Friday came in the opening quarter. Taft built a four-touchdown lead before the first gun sounded on its way to a 49-7 Northwest Valley Conference win.

Neither Toreador Coach Troy Starr nor Chancellor Coach Myron Gibford would comment on the margin of victory. The subject is open to scrutiny because Taft (6-0, 3-0 in league play) played its first string from start to finish in a 39-13 victory over Reseda last week.

Taft's top players left the game earlier against Chatsworth but delivered knockout stats anyway.

Junior tailback Jerry Brown rushed for 213 yards and two touchdown in 17 carries, all in the first three quarters. Senior quarterback Mike Ferguson completed nine of 12 passes for 142 yards, all in the first half.

Taft junior Dayon Shaw displayed all-purpose ability, catching four passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for a five-yard touchdown, completing five of six passes for 79 yards (with one interception) in relief of Ferguson and returning two punts for 24 yards.

"It was a fun game," Starr said. "Lots of kids got to play."

The Toreadors had their stars on defense as well. Junior linebacker Melvin Fulcher intercepted two passes and senior defensive back Dwyer McKeith intercepted one.

McKeith also initiated the Taft scoring when, on Chatsworth's opening series, he blocked a punt for the second time in as many games. The ball conveniently bounced into McKeith's hands at the five and he carried it in with 9 minutes 59 seconds left in the first quarter.

Brown and Shaw added touchdowns before Andre DeSaussure caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ferguson with one second left in the quarter, one play after Leon Brider recovered a fumble.

Aaron Hummel completed 10 of 24 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions for Chatsworth (3-3, 1-2).

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