YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

PREP EXTRA / SATURDAY FOOTBALL PULLOUT : Trabuco Hills Uses Turnovers in Dominating El Toro, 35-0


MISSION VIEJO — Trabuco Hills' Chad Collins caught a pass in the flat, sidestepped a defender, and ran for a 19-yard gain. He then did plenty of talking to the El Toro bench in front of him.

Look at me, he seemed to be telling them.

The incident exemplified the game. Trabuco Hills' 35-0 victory Friday over rival El Toro delivered a similar message to Mater Dei. Look at us, the Mustangs seemed to be saying.

With the South Coast League opener against the county's second-ranked team on the horizon, Trabuco Hills had the kind of game every coach hopes for. The Mustangs turned four turnovers into 28 points and did little wrong.

"We needed everything we could muster to give us some confidence," Trabuco Hills Coach Jim Barnett said. "If we hadn't had the lead that we did, we probably would've done a little more on offense, but since we're playing Mater Dei, there's not a lot of point in . . . "

He didn't finish the comment, but there wasn't a lot of point in showing his hand.

Trabuco Hills (4-1) got a big defensive game from several players, including Bobby Johnson, who had three sacks, and Chris Clayton, who had two. In all, El Toro (3-2) gained only 104 yards.

"We just wanted to let (Mater Dei) know we're no slouches," Johnson said, not in a boastful way.

El Toro's three first-half turnovers led to scoring drives of 43, 48 and 36 yards and 21 points. Trabuco Hills' defense gave up only 15 yards rushing and 11 passing in the half. In fact, El Toro's longest play--a 16-yard run by Jamie Hanaway--ended in a fumble that led to the Chargers' third touchdown.

Scott Gronsky got the first turnover; he picked the ball out of the air after it popped out of El Toro quarterback Brian Wilson's hand as he was being hit. The pressure was a sign of things to come.

Two plays later, De Sha Runnels made it 7-0 by scoring from eight yards.

Keith Hocking recovered two fumbles. The first set up a 22-yard scoring pass from Collins to Laquent Fobbs, and the second set up Runnels' 15-yard score to make it 21-0.

There were few El Toro highlights. Its opening 29-yard drive in the third quarter surpassed the 26 yards it gained in the first half. In all, El Toro spent all but four plays on its side of the field.

And El Toro's troubles continued. Wilson, punting from his 38, watched the ball sail over his head. He recovered it, but Johnson tackled him at the 14. Fobbs hauled in a J.C. Pintsak pass 66 seconds later. And the defense, which had been so much a part of the game for Trabuco Hills, fittingly scored, when Alec Bain returned an interception 47 yards.

Los Angeles Times Articles