Taft High and El Camino Real came from different directions Friday night.
El Camino was coming off a 21-0 loss to Canoga Park. Taft had whipped Grant, 41-8.
Friday night, both teams continued in the same direction they’d gone the week before.
Taft beat El Camino, 20-0.
Even though El Camino’s offense spent most of the first quarter on the field, it was the Toreadores who scored first. Monty Gilbreath returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown with 7:32 left, to put Taft ahead, 6-0. The extra point attempt failed.
On their next possession, El Camino drove the ball from their 29 to the Taft 37. The drive, however, stalled when quarterback Patrick Martin failed to complete a pass on fourth down. It was the first of four attempts by the Conquistadores to convert on a fourth-down play.
Taft then took over on the 37, but on their first play from scrimmage, quarterback Ray Daniels fumbled and El Camino recovered on the 32.
But El Camino was unable to move the ball. On a critical fourth-and-seven play, once again, the Martin pass fell incomplete to end the scoring threat.
Possession seesawed throughout the second quarter, until the 2:02 mark, when Curtis Hein of Taft intercepted an errant Martin pass and returned it to the El Camino 30.
On Taft’s second play from scrimmage, Daniels connected with split end Ernie Perryman on a play-action pass for a 30-yard strike for the touchdown.
Taft then converted a two-point conversion as Gilbreath hauled in the pass from Daniels. The Toreadores led, 14-0.
To start the second half, El Camino had an opportunity to score when Jay Alba blocked a Taft punt and the Conquistadores recovered on the Taft 22.
On the next play, though, El Camino running back Kevin Koontz fumbled the ball and the Toreadores recovered.
Neither team was able to put together much offense in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Taft found some offense in the form of running back Kevin Wolfe. After taking over on their 42, again and again the Toreadores gave the ball to Wolfe. He carried the ball 11 times in a 14-play drive, accounting for 48 of the 52 yards. Taft capped Wolfe’s drive with a two-yard touchdown pass from Daniels to Thompson. Thompson’s TD catch came with just five minutes left in the game. The extra-point attempt failed. Taft led, 20-0.