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LAKE FOREST >> Trabuco Hills running back Drew Barrett rushed for 289 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Mustangs to a 34-21 win over El Toro on Friday and force a tie for the Sea View League championship.
The Mustangs, El Toro (8-2, 2-1) and Capistrano Valley all finish with 2-1 league records and are co-league champions.
Prior to the game, there was a coin flip to determine which teams in a tie situation would receive the league’s two automatic playoff berths. Trabuco Hills lost the coin flip and will have to apply for an at-large berth.
This is the first league championship for Trabuco Hills (8-2, 2-1) under coach Mark Nolan. It is the first league championship for the Mustangs since 2009 when they were led by Jason Negro, who is now the St. John Bosco coach.
“We are building it the right way, from the bottom up,” Nolan said. “We have a great staff on campus and walk-on coaches. We got players and families that believe in what we are doing. I’m so proud of the players.”
“It feels great. We get to practice on Monday,” Barrett said.
Barrett was the story of the game. His 289 yards were the second most of his career and his 40 carries were the most he has had since a playoff game against Sunny Hills his sophomore year.
“I am feeling great, man. The long halftime really gave me a boost,” Barrett said. “I had some electrolytes and was ready for the second half. I knew my team needed me all four quarters.”
Mustangs quarterback Will Burns was also instrumental in the win. The junior rushed for 57 yards and two touchdowns, had 145 yards passing and a crucial touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Trabuco Hills led 27-21 early in the fourth quarter. On third down, Burns rolled to his right and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Cody Davis to extend the lead to 34-21.
“Will Burns was money. He had great reads in the run-pass option game,” Nolan said. “And Drew (Barrett) is just a physical presence. He is so talented and the guys up front made it happen.”
Burns ran for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead.
El Toro responded with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Blake Miller to Collin Payne to tie the game at the end of the first quarter.
Barrett ran for two touchdowns in the second quarter to give Trabuco Hills a 21-7 lead at halftime.
Miller threw a touchdown pass to Jake Dinh on the opening drive of the second half to cut the Trabuco lead to 21-14.
Burns responded with a 6-yard touchdown run to make the score 27-14.
Carson Olsen ran for a 9-yard touchdown late in the third quarter for the Chargers. Olsen ran for 130 yards on 17 carries.
Under Nolan, Trabuco Hills has won two out of three games against crosstown rival El Toro, which had a three-game winning streak in the series prior to that.
“It’s a rivalry game so records don’t matter, it’s like a family game night,” Nolan said. “You know which buttons to push and everybody knows everybody. It’s a great rivalry between two Saddleback Valley schools.”
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)