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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA | SEA
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Warriors Stop Chargers' Switzer

October 31, 1998|GEOFF BILAU | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Woodbridge Coach Rick Gibson challenged his defense to hold El Toro running back Ryan Switzer under 100 yards rushing Friday night.

The Warriors accomplished that goal--with 78 yards to spare--and No. 4 Woodbridge went on to beat El Toro and remain undefeated with a 24-7 victory at Trabuco Hills High.

Switzer, the county's 10th leading rusher this season with an average of 133 yards per game, carried 13 times for only 22 yards against the Warriors (7-0-1, 2-0-1 in the Sea View League).

"With a running back like [Switzer], that is about as phenomenal as it gets," Gibson said.

Woodbridge also sacked El Toro quarterback Mike Strand three times, holding the Chargers to 11 total yards rushing.

El Toro Coach Mike Milner didn't have to spend much time analyzing why his team lost.

"If you only get 11 yards rushing in a football game, you are surely going to lose it," Milner said. "This is the first time in weeks that our running game failed us, and it failed us miserably."

To complement the defense, the Warriors executed their most balanced offensive attack of the season.

Quarterback Scott Barlow completed 11 of 17 passes for 120 yards and rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown in four carries. Running backs Shane Harris, Brandon Runk and Eric Jensen combined for 153 yards and two touchdowns in 30 carries.

Despite gaining only 27 yards in the first half, the Chargers (2-6, 0-3) trailed by only seven at halftime. But Gibson switched gears in the second half.

"With the adjustments [the Chargers] made against us, they challenged us to throw the ball," Gibson said. "And Scott loves a challenge like that."

Barlow picked up his passing in the second half, completing seven of 11 passes for 108 yards.

Forced into his own passing game, Strand completed 14 of 27 for 137 yards and a touchdown.

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