El Toro Wins 50-45 in Playoff Opener - OC Varsity Story
By DAN ARRITT | Orange County Register
November 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm
Jones has TD touch as El Toro tops Villa Park in thrilling playoff opener
ORANGE – Cooper Jones threw four of his five touchdown passes in the first quarter and El Toro held on for a 50-45 victory against Villa Park in a CIF-SS Division 3 first-round game at El Modena High.
The Spartans (9-2) fell behind by 22 points with just under five minutes left in the second quarter, but forced three of El Toro’s five turnovers in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 36-31 on a 1-yard touchdown reception by Dylan Bonilla with 10:46 left in the game.
El Toro (7-4) regained its groove and went 76 yards in three plays and moved back ahead 43-31 on a 43-yard touchdown catch by Shane McLaughlin.
The Chargers then sacked Villa Park quarterback Shane Illingworth on fourth down and tacked on another quick touchdown on a 1-yard run by Steven Castaneda for a 50-31 lead with just under nine minutes left.
Villa Park didn’t quit, however, pulling back within 50-45 with 2:17 remaining. The Spartans sent the ensuing kickoff out of bounds at the Spartans’ 38-yard line. Villa Park tackled El Toro for losses on three straight run plays and used its three timeouts to force El Toro to punt with two minutes left.
The Spartans threw four straight incomplete passes, however, and the Chargers were able to run out the clock.
El Toro will play Lompoc in the second round.
After a 44-yard touchdown run by Marcus Johnson cut the Villa Park deficit to 27-14 with 8:45 left in the first half, El Toro linebacker Raymond Carpenter sacked Illingworth in the end zone for safety, his ninth sack of the season.
John Betts then returned the ensuing punt 72 yards for a touchdown and the lead expanded to 36-14 with 4:59 left in the opening half.
After the Spartans made it 36-21 with 3:06 left, the Chargers missed a couple chances to expand their lead.
Austin Derrico stepped out of bounds at the Villa Park 28-yard line after getting behind the defense on a 52-yard catch, and a 45-yard field goal try by El Toro was then blocked.