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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

Prophet Motive Fuels Western's 63-25 Rout of El Toro

September 16, 2000|PETER YOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Nobody could have predicted this, not even The Prophet.

Fueled by the prediction of a lopsided loss in the Thursday edition of The Times, Western High steam-rolled El Toro, 63-25, in a nonleague game Friday night at Western High.

David Gober took special exception to the prediction by The Prophet, a fictitious character that predicts the outcome of selected Orange County high school games. This week, The Prophet had Western losing, 99-0.

Gober, a senior slotback scored five touchdowns, two rushing and three receiving. He caught five passes for 130 yards and rushed 11 times for 146 yards.

"That added to our fire," Gober said of the prediction. "We saw that and we were like 'Whoa.' We fed off that and then came out and did our thing."

The Prophet's 99-0 prediction was tongue-in-cheek, a blast against Western for winning the week before when The Prophet predicted a loss.

Friday night, the Pioneers (2-0) were in no laughing mood. They scored on eight of their nine offensive possessions. The lone drive in which they did not score was one play, a pass intercepted by El Toro.

The Pioneers, who scored only 14 points in their opening week victory against Loara, piled up 490 yards in offense to 289 for El Toro.

"We had a lot of things to prove tonight," said Gober, whose five touchdowns are a career high. "After last week, we had to score at least 30 points."

El Toro (0-2), which lost a close game to No. 2 Edison last week, stayed in the game for the first quarter. When Western scored in five plays on its opening drive, El Toro's Vinnie Mascari returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.

Western needed just seven plays to score again to take a 14-7 lead with 6:57 left in the first, but El Toro answered with a nine-play, 71-yard drive that came to an end when Western's Duane Parrish intercepted a Tom Kirchmeyer pass at the Western 17.

On the next play, however, Kevin Hansen intercepted a Mike Hicks pass at the 17 and Kirchmeyer connected with James Spagnola one play later to tie the score, 14-14, with 3:23 left in the first.

Western cruised after that. Using a combination of sweeps and traps to set up long pass plays, the Pioneers opened a 56-17 lead at the end of three quarters.

"Our offense sputtered last week, but I knew we had a good offense," Western Coach Toby Howell said. "The difference was we didn't turn the ball over and our guys were blocking the right people."

Howell paused and said, "Tell The Prophet to keep picking us to lose."

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