Vista Murrieta Survives a Wild One to Win, 31-23

By Aaron Rachman Vista Murrieta High School survived the loss of its starting quarterback and a late surge by visiting El Toro High to sc...


By Aaron Rachman


Vista Murrieta High School survived the loss of its starting quarterback and a late surge by visiting El Toro High to score a 31-23 victory Friday in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Playing without starting QB Karson Greeley, who suffered an ankle injury at the start of the second quarter, the Broncos held on to improve their record to 10-1 and earn a second-round game against Upland next Friday.

Things got interesting when El Toro rallied after being down 31-13 in the fourth quarter. After scoring a field goal, the Chargers scored again on a touchdown a few minutes later and the Vista lead was down to 31-23 with four minutes to play.

Stopping the Broncos and getting the ball back, El Toro drove down all the way to the Vista 1-yard line with a minute to go in the game. On first down, El Toro fumbled the ball and Vista recovered to close out the victory for the Broncos.

"El Toro plays in the South Coast League and they are a tough team," said Vista Murrieta coach Coley Candaele. "Physically up front, we weren't ready to play."

Vista Murrieta's defense was opportunistic early, however. El Toro had the ball in its own end early in the first quarter when the Chargers fumbled. Vista Murrieta's Keyon Ware-Hudson picked up the ball and ran it back for a 22-yard touchdown. El Toro marched down the field on its next possession and they had to settle for a field goal to make it a 7-3 game.

On the kickoff, Khalil Shakir ran it back for an 83- yard touchdown to put Vista up 14-3. Vista added another field goal to make it 17-3. El Toro came roaring back with a 58-yard touchdown pass to end the first quarter with Vista leading 17-10.

El Toro intercepted Greeley seven seconds into the second quarter. Greeley was hurt on the play and was replaced at quarterback by Kyle Williams.

On the next play, El Toro fumbled the ball and Vista came away with it, only to have to punt a few downs later. Vista fumbled the snap and El Toro got the ball deep in Vista territory. El Toro had to settle for a field goal. Vista came back on its next drive and Williams ran it in for a 13-yard touchdown to put Vista ahead 24-13 going into the half.

The only scoring in the third quarter was a 1-yard run by Williams to put Vista up 31-13.

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