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MIKE GREENE, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Trabuco Hills quarterback Tommy Kelley loads to pass to a teammate during a varsity football game against El Toro on Friday at El Toro.

Trabuco Hills ruins El Toro's party

OCVARSITY.COM

LAKE FOREST – For years, Trabuco Hills shared its home field with El Toro, and once the Chargers finally got a place to call their own, the Mustangs came in and crashed the party.

Blake Cuzzupoli kicked a 38-yard field goal in overtime to give the Mustangs a 24-21 South Coast League victory Friday night in the first game at El Toro's newly constructed stadium.

Cuzzupoli said he knew it was in when he kicked it.

“It wasn't my best kick; it was sort of a weird flyer,” he said, “but I knew it was up through the uprights.”

The Mustangs came through with an 84-yard, score-tying drive to force overtime.

In overtime, El Toro (4-5, 1-2) started with the ball. Trey Tinsley found Dominic Collins in the end zone on the Chargers' second play, but the score was negated by penalties, and three plays later, the Chargers turned the ball over on downs.

Taking the ball second, the Mustangs played for the field goal. Jordan Hettinger carried three times for a combined 4 yards, to set up Cuzzupoli's winning kick.

“Blake was devastated from missing the extra point” in the Mustangs 2-point loss to vs. Santa Margarita, Trabuco Hills coach Scott Orloff said. “And I said to him, ‘You're going to win a football game for us this year.' And so I had full confidence (in him).”

During its three-game losing streak, Trabuco Hills (5-3, 1-1) consistently shot itself in the foot. The Mustangs almost did it again.

Trabuco Hills never trailed until the fourth quarter, when El Toro built a 21-14 lead at 8:39 left to play thanks to a Danny Ngo interception, a Trey Tinsley to Taylor Dodds touchdown and a safety on the next Trabuco Hills possession. But the Chargers missed a field goal that could have put them up by two scores, leaving an opportunity for Trabuco Hills.

Tommy Kelley led the Mustangs down the field and finished the drive off, pushing in from 1-yard out with 29.1 seconds left.

After Cuzzupoli's extra point, El Toro took a knee to send the game to overtime.

“The thing that I'm really proud of is that we didn't fall apart when things fell apart,” Orloff said.

Tinsley finished with 227 yards and three TDs, connecting with Collins nine times for 190 yards.

Contact the writer: jwilkinson@ocregister.com


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