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Tustin Knocks Down Loara

Tillers rush for 359 yards and build 28-point first-half lead on their way to a 54-22 victory.


Tustin didn't do anything tricky in beating Loara, 54-22, Friday in a Southern Section Division VI second-round playoff game.

The Tillers (11-1) simply were bigger, stronger and faster than the Saxons, who tried a series of trick plays in an attempt to level the lopsided playing field.

Loara was without leading rusher Billy Chavez, who suffered a broken collarbone in the Saxons' first-round victory over Cerritos.

But even with Chavez, it's doubtful Loara, which was also missing two defensive starters because of injuries, could have done much to slow the Tillers.

Tustin, which rushed for 359 yards and passed for 72 more, moves on to meet Irvine in the semifinals Friday.

"We were down," Loara Coach John deFries said, "and we didn't have our guys but they are a good ballclub. They're big, they're physical.

"They run that offense pretty well and they don't back off."

Tustin pushed hard all the way to the end as the second unit scored the game's final touchdown on a one-yard run by freshman Marquis Malcom with 15 seconds left.

Tustin dominated from the start, scoring on its first four possessions for a 28-0 halftime lead.

Quarterback David Miller rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown in 13 carries and completed five of six passes for 72 yards.

Miller's only incompletion was intentional, coming when the Tillers needed to stop the clock late in the first half.

Ricky Miller added 73 yards in 13 carries and scored on runs of 10, six and two yards. His 10-yard score came on a fourth-down play on the opening drive of the game.

Frostee Rucker added 87 yards in 12 carries and Steven Diaz had 70 yards in nine carries.

Chris Chester carried four times for 35 yards but scored on runs of 21 and two yards.

"This was really the kids' game," Tustin Coach Myron Miller said.

"We told them all week it was going to be up to them. We only ran a couple of plays and used one blocking scheme. We just played a physical game and pushed them off the ball."

Tustin was impressive early, running 20 plays and going ahead, 21-0, after three possessions.

Loara tried the option and the shotgun and finally started to move the ball, thanks to some quick passes in the flat to wide receivers.

Quarterback Ryan Gusman completed 12 of 27 attempts for 161 yards and rushed for a team-high 42 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown run on which he broke four tackles.

But the Saxons' biggest pass play came on a double pass, when wide receiver Jonathan Diullo threw 62 yards to Sam Weicks, who was caught at the one.

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