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Best of Elway

January 18, 1998|ERIC SONDHEIMER

John Elway played varsity football and baseball at Granada Hills High from 1976-79. Here's a look at his most memorable games:

Sept. 24, 1976: Elway made his high-school debut as a sophomore quarterback in a 13-0 loss to El Camino Real. He completed four of 10 passes for 41 yards. He had a pass intercepted on fourth and goal from the El Camino Real seven in the fourth quarter.

Sept. 23, 1977: To start his junior year, Elway showed off his fourth-quarter magic. Trailing Carson, 16-0, Elway rallied the Highlanders to a 19-16 victory. He connected with Jim Ginnetti on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:55 left. He passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns.

Oct. 21, 1977: It was Elway vs. Tom Ramsey of Kennedy in this rivalry game. Seven Kennedy starters were suspended for spray-painting buildings at Granada Hills. Elway completed 15 of 25 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-13 Highlander victory.

Nov. 4, 1977: This is the game that made Elway a high school legend. Facing powerful San Fernando and its wishbone attack, Elway passed for 454 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-35 victory. He threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Chris Sutton with 13 seconds left just moments after a nine-yard touchdown pass to Sutton was nullified because of a holding penalty. He moved Granada Hills 68 yards in seven plays in the final 1:32.

Dec. 2, 1977: Two future Super Bowl quarterbacks--Elway and Jay Schroeder of Palisades--locked up in a City Section quarterfinal playoff game decided by a California tiebreaker. The game finished at 27-27. On the seventh play of an eight-play tiebreaker, Elway completed a 28-yard pass to receiver Scott Marshall to clinch a 28-27 Granada Hills victory.

Sept. 22, 1978: It was a pass Coach Jack Neumeier insisted, "Not even in the pros could they do that." Elway completed a 64-yard touchdown pass to Steve McLaughlin that traveled 70 yards through the air in a 40-28 loss to Carson. Elway passed for 479 yards.

Oct. 28, 1978: Playing against San Fernando in a Mid-Valley League showdown, Elway scrambled for a nine-yard gain in the second quarter, then came up limping. He returned in the second half after wrapping his left knee, but the Highlanders lost, 21-10. It was Elway's final football game for the Highlanders. His season ended because of knee surgery for torn cartilage.

June 6, 1979: In the City championship baseball game at Dodger Stadium, Elway allowed three hits and one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings of relief pitching as the Highlanders beat Crenshaw, 10-4. Elway hadn't pitched in a month. He was named most valuable player of the tournament after for collecting nine hits in 13 at-bats. On the same day, he was drafted in the 18th round by the Kansas City Royals.

July 21, 1979: In his final prep football appearance, Elway completed 23 of 37 passes for 363 yards and four touchdowns to lead the North past the South, 35-15, in the Shrine All-Star game at the Rose Bowl. USC Coach John Robinson, who lost a recruiting battle to Stanford, said of Elway, "He's the best ever to come out of high school."

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