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SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: DIVISION III : Ekdahl Sets Scoring Mark in Mission Viejo Victory

Mission Viejo High Coach Mike Rush got a little indignant last week when El Dorado Coach Carl Sweet said that only two Mission Viejo players stand out in the game films.

Despite Rush’s protest, Sweet might have had the right idea. Friday night, quarterback Troy Kopp and slotback Eric Ekdahl--the pair singled out by Sweet--had a hand in all of Mission Viejo’s points as the Diablos beat El Dorado, 34-7, in a Southern Section Division III quarterfinal game at Valencia High.

Kopp passed for 3 touchdowns and ran for another while Ekdahl rushed for a touchdown and kicked 4 extra points to become Orange County’s all-time single-season scoring leader. With 200 points this season, Ekdahl eclipsed the record of 192, set by Esperanza’s Jim Farrell in 1984.

In the process, the Diablos improved their record to 12-0 and set up a Dec. 2 semifinal date with Paramount (10-1), the second-place team from the San Gabriel Valley League.

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And, Rush kept insisting, Mission Viejo got there with a team effort.

“The people over there (on the El Dorado sideline) said we only have 2 people,” Rush said. “Well, this game takes 11 guys and we feel we have 11 great players on the field.”

Friday, the conditions at Bradford Stadium were so sloppy that Kopp--the county’s top-ranked passer--ran the ball almost as often (12 carries for 84 yards) as he threw it (10 of 16 for 174 yards).

Kopp threw touchdown passes of 3 yards to Damon Williams, 8 yards to Mark Gaw and 28 yards to Eric Cedarstaff. He also scored on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter.

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