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PREP EXTRA / SATURDAY FOOTBALL PULLOUT

El Dorado Shuts Down La Habra

September 20, 1997|MIKE TERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LA HABRA — When La Habra quarterback Robert Morales' first pass of the game hit an official instead of an open receiver, the Highlanders might have gotten an inkling they were in for a long night against El Dorado.

Golden Hawk quarterback Mitch Nord made sure of it.

Nord threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns, propelling El Dorado to a 22-0 victory in front of an estimated 2,500 Friday at La Habra.

Nord, a junior, completed 11 of his 18 passes to seven receivers. The touchdowns were a nine-yard pass to to Aaron Mills in the second quarter, and an eight-yard, fourth-quarter pass to Jason Vermilyer.

But many of Nord's passes went for big yardage. Four covered 20 yards or more, including a 53-yarder to Donny Dymond that came before the touchdown to Mills.

"It seemed like everything was in sync tonight," Nord said. "The line blocked great, the receivers ran good routes. We've got it going right now."

El Dorado Coach Steve Jones insisted the game was closer than the final score indicated.

"La Habra is a hard-hitting team," Jones said. "Tonight was a slugfest for four quarters. They did not give an inch."

The victory improved El Dorado to 2-0, a far cry from last season when the Hawks lost all five nonleague games before sweeping all five Empire League games to win the championship.

The closest La Habra (1-1) came to scoring came on the final play of the first half, when Morales connected with Dale Sutton on a 46-yard bomb. Unfortunately for La Habra, Sutton was tackled at the Hawks' 3 as time ran out.

Morales would finish with 133 yards passing, but was intercepted twice.

La Habra came into the game limping. Both starting running backs--Jesse Giovannetti and Josh Herrera--were unable to play because of injury. In their place, Coach Rick Milhizer inserted Adam Provence, normally a receiver, and Marcus Arredondo.

But afterward Milhizer said that was the reason for the loss.

"El Dorado out-hit us tonight," Milhizer said. "And the teams that do the hitting usually win."

The other El Dorado scores were a nine-yard touchdown run by running back Steve Warfield, and a 23-yard field goal by Bruce Nebeker. Both came in the second quarter.

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