OC Varsity Recap
By NATHANIEL PERCY | Orange County Register/OC Varsity
LAKE FOREST – It might not have been as high-scoring as some expected, but Capistrano Valley and El Toro still provided quite the quarterback battle Friday night.
In the end it was Capistrano Valley’s Nathan Manning who provided the final blow, tossing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Michael Dyer with 1:28 left to put the game out of reach, leading the Cougars to a 26-14 Sea View League win.
The Cougars, who trailed 14-10 at halftime, shut out the Chargers in the second half while scoring 16 points.
“He was a little hurried in the first half,” Cougars coach Ernie Bucher said of Manning. “We showed him at halftime that he had time. It was one little adjustment and he was good to go.”
Manning tossed two of his three touchdowns in the second half and kicker Ben Selecky booted one of his two field goals.
As for the defense, Bucher said he didn’t change much at halftime.
“We didn’t do a whole lot differently in the second half than we did in the first half,” Bucher said. “They’re a good football team. They’re going to get their points. We just played a little better (in the second half).”
El Toro quarterback Cooper Jones tossed two touchdown passes in the first half and finished with 308 yards on 17-of-33 passing.
Manning started the scoring by lofting a pass to Dyer deep in the end zone. The slot receiver made a leaping catch over El Toro linebacker Sam Whipple for a 7-0 lead.
Jones responded in the second quarter with an 83-yard catch-and-run to Noah Aguilar and a 13-yard TD to Austin Derrico on back-to-back drives for a 14-7 lead.
Selecky booted a 37-yard field goal and the Cougars (8-0, 2-0) trailed 14-10 at halftime.
Jones hit Aguilar for 61 yards, setting up El Toro (4-4, 1-1) at the Cougars’ 13-yard line to open the second half. But an intentional grounding call, tackle-for-loss by Jayce Hunter and a sack by Juan Carlos Saldivar left the Chargers out of field goal range.
“That was a huge momentum swing and that was probably the best third quarter we’ve played all year,” Bucher said.
Manning hit Jake Werner for a 15-yard TD on the Cougars’ next possession to give Capo the lead for good, 16-14. Selecky later hit a 38-yard field goal before Manning’s final TD pass to Dyer.
Aguilar led all receivers with 178 yards on seven catches. Dyer finished with 120 yards on 10 catches for the Cougars.
The Coach Richard Beatie Football Scholarship Award