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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA | SEA
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El Toro Can't Catch Up to Santa Margarita

October 17, 1998|GEOFF BILAU | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If El Toro Coach Mike Milner can come up with a defensive scheme that works nearly as well as his draw play, the Chargers might be onto something.

As it was, however, El Toro struggled on defense and couldn't keep up with sixth-ranked Santa Margarita, which won a Sea View League opener, 31-24, Friday night at Trabuco Hills High.

Charger running back Ryan Switzer rushed for 234 yards and three touchdowns in 27 carries, including second-half scoring runs of 68 and 50 yards on draw plays, but El Toro (2-4, 0-1) couldn't recover from its 17-0 first-quarter deficit.

"We felt like with some of the things [Santa Margarita] was doing defensively, [Switzer] would break some," Milner said. "Unfortunately, we didn't play well in the first half defensively."

On its first three possessions, Santa Margarita (5-1, 1-0) sandwiched a 24-yard field goal by Matt Froehlich between touchdown passes of five and 55 yards from Greg Orlando to Mike O'Gorman to take a 17-0 lead.

Switzer's three-yard touchdown run got El Toro within 10, but Spencer McCroskey answered near the end of the half for Santa Margarita with a touchdown from 10 yards out.

Mike Marquez capped the Chargers' first drive of the second half with a 40-yard field goal that just crept over the crossbar, and Switzer scored his second touchdown of the game on El Toro's next possession to make the score 24-16, midway through the third quarter.

McCroskey's 10-yard touchdown run gave Santa Margarita a 31-16 lead, but Switzer broke free again for a 50-yard touchdown on a draw play with 3 minutes 49 seconds remaining.

The Eagles recovered El Toro's onside kick attempt and ran out the clock.

"We were very fortunate to make those big plays early," Santa Margarita Coach Jim Hartigan said. "They just came back and got some momentum going. There's no quit in that team."

McCroskey ran for 124 yards in 20 carries and Orlando completed seven of 11 passes for 128 yards for Santa Margarita.

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