Pruett gives credit to hard work of South teammates


COSTA MESA - A stellar first-half performance from the South defense Thursday in the Brea Lions O.C. All-Star Game had things looking grim for the North, which generated just six points - on a 2-yard TD run by TJ Williams - in the opening half.

All of that was overshadowed, however, by Gavin Pruett’s performance at Orange Coast College. The South quarterback finished the first half 9-of-10 passing for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

“He played a very complete game,” said South coach Ernie Bucher. “He put the ball where he needed to. He’s just that type of player. He’s a smart player and he really just led this offense.”

His three first-half touchdowns through the air tied the record for most touchdowns in the O.C. All-Star Game. He broke the record with 10:55 seconds left in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard lob to Santa Margarita’s Conner Bianchini, who finished with two touchdowns.

Pruett came close to a fifth touchdown pass, but it was dropped.

“I have to give a shout out to my offensive line. They did a great job up front,” said Pruett. “They gave me all the time in the world, and it also gives the receivers an opportunity to get open.”

Pruett said the game's outcome was a result of the effort put in by the South players.

“We would stick around after practice and throw routes," he said. "I kept telling our receivers, 'hey guys, lets get this work in, and I give them all the credit. They put the work in and got the timing down, which is what this whole offense is based on. Hitting the receivers in stride and giving them a chance to move with the ball is what we were trying to do.”

Pruett finished with 185 yards through the air.

The Capistrano Valley quarterback finished his senior season with over 3,000 yards passing and 26 touchdowns, plus two more on the ground. He plans to begin attending Milford Academy, a preparatory school in New Berlin, New York, in the fall. The school will give Pruett a higher level of experience, but will preserve his college eligibility for the future.

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