GARDEN GROVE — Coach Roger Takahashi and Ape Tuato went into Thursday's Garden Grove League game against Santiago with a plan: Throw the ball--which Tuato did, much to Takahashi's delight.
Tuato led Los Amigos to a 49-16 victory over Santiago, and the 500 in attendance at Garden Grove saw the Lobos do something that is of paramount importance to their playoff hopes: Show some balance.
Tuato, who threw only five touchdown passes all season, threw four in the first half. He threw deep and he threw short, and he came up a big winner. Though he completed only seven of 17 passes and had one intercepted, they were for 176 yards--that's 25 yards per completion--including one pass for no yards.
"I gained a lot of confidence tonight," Tuato said. "That was the goal, to get me some confidence going into the playoffs and provide some balance to the offense."
Los Amigos is 7-1, 3-1; Santiago fell to 3-4, 2-2.
Tuato threw scoring strikes to LaRue Carr (42 yards), Niu Satele (14 yards), Warren Roberge (54 yards) and again to Satele (19 yards). Los Amigos has run the ball successfully most of the season, so there has been little need to pass. Greg Fausto, who needed 117 yards to reach 1,000, carried only 10 times for 79 yards, including a 34-yard score that made it 36-0.
Roger Calvillo's two-yard run made it 43-0, and Carr followed Santiago's first touchdown with a 92-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
"When it comes down to it, you can't be one-dimensional," Takahashi said. "We've been rushing real well and haven't had to pass it.
"But we would like to be able to pass the ball with some confidence in a big game."