El Toro's Running a Surprise : While Los Alamitos Looks for the Pass, Backs Pile Up Yards

Times Staff Writer

Given the attention to El Toro High School quarterback Bret Johnson's passing, and that's a ton, some may have believed that the only good El Toro running back was one waiting in the flat for a dump pass.

Well, there are three guys by the names of David Nemeth, Adam Brass and Ken Romaniszyn who'd like to speak to the doubters.

Or, better yet, would like them sit down to a showing of the game films from El Toro's 36-6 victory Saturday over Los Alamitos in the Southern Conference championship game in LeBard Stadium.

The trio combined for 184 rushing yards. They also scored four touchdowns, either running or receiving. Lump that in with Johnson's exceptional performance, completing 10 of 15 passes for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns, and El Toro was unbeatable.

"I know our passing gets a lot of the publicity, and Bret deserves all of it because he does a great job," Nemeth said. "But if you watch us, you'll see that we have one of the most balanced attacks around. We combine the run with the pass really well."

Nemeth led the El Toro rushing attack with 101 yards in 13 carries. Nemeth had started the season at tailback, but was switched to fullback about six games into the season.

"Dave was getting the ball about 20 times a game, then he went to blocking for us," Brass said. "You talk about a guy being unselfish. He just wanted to do anything to help this team win."

And if what made this team win was balance, that was never more evident than on El Toro's first possession.

It started on the El Toro 20. Romaniszyn rushed for three yards. Johnson passed to Brass for 12. Nemeth rushed for 12 more. Johnson completed a five-yard pass to Nemeth. Brass rushed for seven. Romaniszyn rushed for seven. Nemeth rushed for 13 yards on the next two plays. Brass rushed for another 10 yards. And Johnson finished it off with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jason Vivonia.

"We were pretty fired up about going against, supposedly, the No. 1 defense in the county," Brass said. "I think we showed we can score on anyone."

Brass, El Toro's do-everything-man, scored three touchdowns. His first was a 63-yard pass reception in the first quarter that he caught after lining up as a receiver.

The second, a 34-yard pass reception in the second quarter, was caught after he went in motion out of the backfield.

The third came on a one-yard run in the third quarter. Brass ran 8 times for 35 yards. He caught 4 passes for 124 yards. He also punts, returns punts and is one of the best defensive backs in the county.

And speaking of versatility, Romaniszyn, who rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown in 13 carries, also kicks and plays defensive back. Besides scoring on a three-yard run in the second quarter, Romaniszyn also had an interception.

Oh, by the way, Romaniszyn is a sophomore and Nemeth is a junior. So, maybe if you didn't hear a lot about them this year, well, there's time.

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