Talent-laden Orange County has a new aerial king following Friday night's playoff football action.
Junior quarterback Conner Manning
completed 32 of 49 passes for 465 yards and two touchdowns - with no interceptions - as El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.)
nipped La Habra (Calif.), 47-41, during the CIF-SS Southwest Division semifinals.
Running the popular no-huddle spread, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder has passed for 3,946 yards this fall, which is a new Orange County record, according to the Orange County Register. The previous record of 3,560 yards was set in 2007 by
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
All-American Matt Barkley, who now stars for the University of Southern California.
Manning told the Register, "La Habra's the best team in the division. To beat them on their turf ... that's rare. This is awesome."
After falling behind, 13-0, El Toro poured across 47 straight points to take a 47-13 lead with 1:07 left in the third quarter.. La Habra, which had won four consecutive titles, then countered with 28 unanswered points of its own to trim the deficit to 47-41. However, El Toro was able to run out the final 3:31 by gaining three first downs.
El Toro coach Rob Frith told the Register, "They said it was going to be the game of the year. I think anybody who was here would agree they got their money's worth tonight."
The Chargers will make their first trip to the finals since 1995 when they play Tustin (Calif.)
for the title on Saturday at Angel Stadium.