Football: El Toro 41, Tesoro 31

Conner Manning throws four touchdowns passes—and catches another—as the Chargers get the inside track on a playoff berth in a battle of state-ranked teams.

Conner Manning can also catch the ball.

Orange County's all-time leading passer threw for four touchdowns on Friday, but it was his touchdown reception that gave El Toro the fourth quarter lead in a wild 41-31 South Coast League victory over Tesoro.

The Chargers (8-0, 2-0), ranked No. 21 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, trailed No. 7 Tesoro (6-1, 1-1) in the fourth quarter, 31-27, when they put together what may be the signature moment of the season. It's certainly guaranteed to make every El Toro highlight reel.

Running back Jacob Furnari, moments after peeling off an 18-yard gain, took a handoff at the 8-yard line and headed right. Manning went left. Then Furnari passed to Manning for the touchdown.

Although Manning understandably gets a lot of credit for El Toro's success, Furnari rushed for 149 yards and continues to give the Chargers extraordinary balance.

Although Tesoro had scored on Nate Tago's fourth touchdown of the game—he rushed for 320 yards—with 6:24 left in the game, the visiting Titans were unable to mount a rally. After turning the ball over on downs at the Tesoro 25, Manning passed 23 yards to Blake Murphy with 1:51 left in the game.

Manning finished 14 of 27 for 280 yards.

The schedule won't get any easier for Tesoro, which must play Mission Viejo (7-0, 1-0) next week. Mission is ranked No. 5 in the state and is coming off a 45-7 victory over San Clemente.

El Toro, which has more victories than any team in Orange County, plays at Trabuco Hills (4-3, 0-1) next week.

The first- and second-place teams in the league will automatically qualify for the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs.


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