With his team's offense sputtering compared to recent performances, El Toro Coach Mike Milner was reminded Friday about some of the other aspects of his team--namely, its defense.
The Chargers maintained a 14-7 lead for more than 21 minutes while waiting for their offense to come around, then went on to defeat Newport Harbor, 24-15, at Trabuco Hills High.
"With the exception of the first series, when we needed to get the ball back to the offense, we did," Milner said.
That first series surprised the Chargers, as Newport Harbor (2-4, 0-1 in league) took the opening kickoff and drove 62 yards to El Toro's 18-yard line before having a touchdown pass called back on an offensive pass interference penalty.
The first of Matt Steinau's 2 1/2 sacks of Sailor quarterback Josiah Fredriksen ended the drive and set the tone for remainder of the game.
The Sailors scored first, however, two plays into their second drive, when Fredriksen found Danny Pulido open in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown.
A four-yard keeper by El Toro quarterback Steve Krupp and a seven-yard run by Murle Sango put the Chargers ahead, 14-7, with 7:47 remaining in the half.
The Chargers held Newport Harbor to just 35 net yards over their next four possessions.