By Martin Henderson
For the first time this season, Tesoro played four solid quarters and it showed on the scoreboard. The Titans, in a game that had the pregame earmarks of a competitive contest, was wholly one-sided. The most important aspect of Tesoro’s 35-6 South Coast League victory over El Toro is it has victories over two other teams expected to challenge for an automatic playoff berth, El Toro and Trabuco Hills. When the Titans play Mission Viejo next week, they’ll be playing for the league title, not second place—because that is virtually assured.
Score: Tesoro 35, El Toro 6
Key Stats: Jon Rivera rushed 27 times for 173 yards and a touchdown, and Tesoro rushed for 379 as a team.
Pivotal Moment: Tesoro has been inconsistent this season, and after giving up its first points midway through the third quarter, the door was open for an El Toro comeback as other teams have done against Tesoro. The Chargers certainly had life, trailing 21-6. But two plays later, Tesoro QB Devon Modster fooled everyone in the stadium with a fake handoff, then peeled left, made a cut and dashed 82 yards for a score. Game over.
Quotable: “We played great tonight, I’m very happy with these guys,” Tesoro coach Matt Poston said. “We pounded the ball on the ground. Both (Wes McQuaid and Jon Rivera) made some good runs. It started with the line that gave us a good surge every time. We established the line of scrimmage which we needed to do. This is the first time where I feel like we came out and gave four quarters of good football. We played really well tonight and our defense played amazing to shut down that [El Toro] offense. That kid [Trey Tinsley] has thrown for 2,300 yards. We got several three and outs. Our goal was to make a couple plays and get off. Our defense played amazing.”
Quotable II: “This was a dominating win by Tesoro. They beat us in every phase of the game,” El Toro coach Robert Frith said. “They were better than us on offense, they were better than us on defense and they were better than us on special teams. We got our butts kicked by a better team. We couldn’t move the ball, we couldn’t throw the ball, we couldn’t run the ball, we couldn’t stop the run. … A very disappointing effort by our team.”
Records: Tesoro (7-1 overall, 2-0 in league), El Toro (4-4, 1-1)
Notes: The offensive line that helped provide the protection and open holes for Tesoro included Leo Rodriguez, Nick Fehrenbach, Jed Encarnacion, Zach Hickman and Nick Zamiles. … The defense sacked Tinsley five times, four by Jack Bares. … Tinsley was averaging 333 yards passing but completed 20 of 32 for 185 with one interception, by Jacob Griffin. Tesoro added another interception by Tristan Kafentzis late in the fourth quarter. … El Toro’s running game, boosted by the return of Marcus Desantis, managed a meager 10 years. Desantis carried 10 times for 32 yards. … With its victory, Tesoro practically locked up a berth in the Pac-5 playoffs. … Tesoro led 14-0 at halftime and the victory snapped El Toro’s three-game winning streak. … In addition to Rivera, Wes McQuaid rushed 16 times for 79 yards and touchdowns of 8 and 5 yards. Devon Modster rushed seven for 107, including the long touchdown, and he completed six of 12 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, including an 18-yarder to Jeff Webster. … Although Modster’s long run for a score was critical, another play may have been almost as important. Early in the third quarter, Jacob Griffin returned a punt 47 yards and got an additional 9 on a penalty, giving Tesoro first down at the El Toro 8-yard line. Two plays later, McQuaid scored from 5 for a 21-0 lead.