OC Varsity Recap Story
Jones, El Toro continue to sizzle in passing game, charge past Lompoc
By NATHANIEL PERCY | firstname.lastname@example.org | Orange County Register
November 17, 2017 at 10:04 pm
LAKE FOREST – Big plays reigned supreme at El Toro High on Friday night, as Chargers quarterback Cooper Jones threw five touchdown passes for a second consecutive game in a 37-16 win over Lompoc in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs.
Receivers Noah Aguilar, Austin Derrico and Shane McLaughlin routinely found space between and beyond the secondary and made it easy for Jones, who finished 13 of 18 passing for 373 yards and five touchdowns.
Derrico and McLaughlin caught two TD passes each and Aguilar caught one. All three had more than 100 yards receiving.
“We were trying to get the short stuff first until they bite on it and then go over the top,” Aguilar said. “We really executed with that.”
El Toro (8-4) moves on to play St. Francis of La Canada on the road in the semifinals next week.
El Toro needed big stops from its defense early on after Derrico fumbled a punt and Matt Freem had a punt blocked, both setting up Lompoc deep in Chargers territory.
The defense allowed just seven points on those two possessions and held Lompoc’s talented rushing attack to just 48 first-half yards. Lompoc was without star running back Toa Taua because of an ankle injury.
“They teach us to stay as low as we can and that disrupts the whole line and gets us penetration,” said lineman Raymond Carpenter, who was in on four sacks and two tackles for loss.
Three plays into El Toro’s first drive, Jones hit Aguilar on a short pass, but Aguilar slipped through a tackle and raced 76 yards for a score.
After Lompoc (11-1) tied it on a Ruben Cortez 1-yard TD run, Jones hit McLaughlin for a 71-yard score on the first play of El Toro’s ensuing drive, the first of 23 unanswered points scored by the Chargers, who led 24-7 at halftime.
Jose Silva kicked a 26-yard field goal and quarterback Xavier Nix added a 13-yard TD run for the Braves in the fourth quarter.
El Toro coach Mike Mayoral gave credit to his coaching staff and the team after the win.
“They’re great kids, I love this group,” he said.