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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA

Defense Gets the Job Done for Loara

September 26, 1998|EVAN LOVETT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Loara's defense shut down El Modena Friday night, giving up only 129 yards of total offense in a 28-6 victory at El Modena.

Sophomore Billy Chavez intercepted two passes, returning one for an 85-yard touchdown, and had six solo tackles.

"We're definitely improving," Chavez said. "We ran a new coverage today and it worked great."

Chavez also led Loara on offense, rushing for 49 yards and one touchdown in six carries. "For a young kid, he's not too bad," Loara Coach John deFries said. "I was really impressed with the maturity he showed out there tonight."

Chavez's first-quarter interception return for a touchdown, the first score of the game, got the Saxons' rolling. El Modena was limited to one first down in the first half, and did not cross midfield until midway through the third quarter.

El Modena's first possession of the second half ended in a safety for Loara, when the ball was snapped out of the end zone on a punt attempt. The Saxons drove 59 yards after the free kick, scoring on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Sean Kehoe to Rudy Acosta.

"Our defense played really well," deFries said. "El Modena never really got on track and we did a good job of keeping their running game contained.

"It kept our offense relaxed and confident and allowed us to do our thing."

The key for the Loara offense was balance, six runners combined for 100 yards, and the quarterback combination of Kehoe and Jeremy Ellis passed for 128 yards and one touchdown. Johnny Patton led the Saxons in receiving with four catches for 63 yards.

The El Modena running game was suffocated. The Vanguards only gained 33 yards in 19 carries. Tyrone Brinson was the leading rusher with 32 yards.

Ian Souza scored the Vanguards' touchdown, returning an interception 19 yards late in the fourth quarter.

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