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Southern Section Football Championships : DeYoung’s Switch Gives Mustangs a Boost

Times Staff Writer

It was right there in the program for anyone to see: Chad DeYoung, wide receiver.

But Friday night, DeYoung was a Trabuco Hills High School running back, and a grand one at that.

Although DeYoung had played running back for the Mustangs plenty this year--a few plays here, a few there--he had mostly been a receiver, and had never lined up behind the quarterback for an entire game.

But Trabuco Hills Coach Jim Barnett told DeYoung Monday that in the Division VIII championship game against Woodbridge, that is what he would do.

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It didn’t go half badly. DeYoung, a senior, ran for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns in 16 carries in the Mustangs’ 34-14 victory. And, quite predictably, he caught a few passes, 4 for 67 yards.

DeYoung’s first touchdown came on a 2-yard run at the end of a 73-yard drive. DeYoung accounted for 39 of those yards himself in 6 carries. That touchdown put Trabuco Hills ahead to stay, 10-7.

His second came early in the third quarter, on a play that began at the Mustang 31-yard line. Quarterback Nick Lowery tossed a shuttle pass to DeYoung behind the line of scrimmage, and DeYoung was off, taking to the sideline.

In the course of his 69-yard run, he found a couple of would-be tacklers in his way and simply leaped over them.

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The last Woodbridge player stumbled around the 10--fact was, he couldn’t have caught DeYoung anyway--and DeYoung raced in to start a joyous celebration.

With that touchdown, giving Trabuco Hills a 24-7 lead, the victory began to seem imminent.

Not a bad evening for DeYoung.

Quarterback David Lowery, who has thrown to DeYoung more frequently than he has handed off to him, wasn’t surprised.

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“Coach has been saying all year, DeYoung’s bound to break one big one,” Lowery said.

Why did Barnett decide to use DeYoung at running back?

“I didn’t ask any questions,” DeYoung said.

Barnett said it was part of a design to aid the effectiveness of Tim Manning, the Mustang slot back and free safety.

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“It’s a lot easier for them to key on Manning out of the backfield,” Barnett said. “But with Manning going in motion all night, it messed with them. . . . Besides, with Tim going both ways, we didn’t want him to take all that battering. . . . Chad’s very good, and he may be more durable than Tim.”

DeYoung not only is a durable back, but he also likes the beating.

“It’s fun,” he said. “You get to hit more.”

DeYoung played on the junior varsity last year, at both receiver and running back. Earlier this season, he played mostly receiver.

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“I was doing pretty good, but then I got hurt against San Clemente,” he said.

He missed 2 games with an ankle injury, and came back. More receiver, some running back.

Then came the championship game, the final of his career.

And DeYoung was a running back, the whole game.

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Neither he nor Trabuco Hills had any complaints.


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