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Taft Sleepwalks to Victory

Football: Toreadors look sluggish but have enough offense to defeat Dorsey, 18-6, in a nonconference game.

September 27, 1997|MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WOODLAND HILLS — Taft High was the football team with the bye last week, but both the Toreadors and Dorsey played like they hadn't set foot on the field for a while.

In a game marred by 33 penalties and long stretches of ineffective offensive play, Taft was able to come up with enough big plays to come away with an 18-6 nonconference victory Friday night at Taft.

The infractions ranged from six procedure penalties against the Dons in the first quarter to several offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct calls as play got chippy in the second half.

"We've got a long way to go," Taft Coach Troy Starr said.

Taft (2-0) took control less than two minutes into the game.

Senior Sedric Hurns took an inside handoff, burst up the middle and raced 53 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

After an exchange of possessions, quarterback Steve Alvarado found K.C. Bounds wide open and connected on a 27-yard scoring play. After the two-point conversion failed, the Toreadors led, 12-0, and appeared in command.

But the Taft offense would mostly struggle for the remainder of the game.

Alvarado, who completed three of his first five passes, threw eight consecutive incompletions.

Bounds--again wide open--dropped a 30-yard pass at midfield.

Junior tailback Marquis Brignac was held to 17 yards in his first 10 carries and fumbled once.

Coming off a shutout loss to Hawthorne, where the Dons gained fewer than 100 yards, Dorsey (1-2) continued to struggle in the first quarter before finally showing signs of life.

Dorsey drove 75 yards in eight plays, cutting the lead to 12-6 on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Lonnie Honeycutt to Nevin McGee.

The Dons were able to keep the ball moving on offense, but kept getting derailed by penalties--19 for 180 yards--and turnovers.

Honeycutt completed 17 of 34 passes for 166 yards and was intercepted three times, although one was fumbled by Ronald Andrews and recovered by the Dons.

Andrews had two interceptions and Airabin Justin added another in the final minute off a desperation pass by Honeycutt.

"It was tough, the defense had to come up with some big plays," said Taft linebacker Dionte Hall, who had a key sack and fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter.

"Despite the problems, we played better than last week," said Dorsey Coach Paul Knox. "We're going to have a lot of little things to work on in practice."

Dorsey nearly scored at the end of the first half, but the drive stalled at the Taft six as running back Major Cobbs was nailed for a loss by Hurns and David Melo as time expired in the first half.

Still, Dorsey kept within shouting distance because Taft was having problems of its own. The Toreadors had just three first downs--all by penalties--until Hurns scored on a 42-yard run with just under two minutes to play.

Hurns finished with 119 yards in nine carries and Brignac had 54 yards in 15 carries. Alvarado completed six of 21 passes for 70 yards.

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