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Nichols Hot as University Warms Up for Title Game


Quarterback Jay Nichols threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to lead front-running University to a 42-14 Pacific Coast League victory Friday night at Irvine High.

After the Trojans' defense forced a fumble on the game's second play, Nichols capped a four-play scoring drive with a one-yard run.

Costa Mesa (5-4 overall, 1-3) struggled to get its offense going in the first half, giving up possessions on the fumble, a missed field-goal attempt and three punts.

Nichols, who completed nine of 13 passes for 178 yards, found his groove early for University (7-2, 4-0). He completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Conlin in the second quarter, which was followed by Nephi Wheeler scoring on a one-yard run late in the half.

Nichols came out gunning in the second half too, leading University to touchdowns on its first three possessions. Scott Pickett caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Nichols, Setiam Allah caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Nichols, and Nichols ran for a four-yard touchdown to give the Trojans a 42-7 lead.

"Jay directed the team very well tonight," University Coach Mark Cunningham said. "We're in the playoffs, but all of our thoughts right now are on Corona Del Mar."

University will have a chance to win an outright league championship for the first time in school history when its plays Corona Del Mar next Friday at Orange Coast College.

The Mustangs managed to get on the scoreboard with 12 seconds remaining in the first half on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Hulliger to Louis Day. Hulliger passed for 102 yards, but completed only six of 20 passes. Day had three catches for 76 yards.

Costa Mesa's Keola Asuega ran for 141 yards and a touchdown in 27 carries.

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