They knew they could score, but for once, El Toro's offense was going against a defense that didn't have a reputation of being porous.
In Corona del Mar, the fourth-ranked Chargers were facing a team that had given up an average of 7.7 points per game.
But El Toro blew away the average and seized an important Sea View League victory Friday, 40-35, over Corona del Mar in front of about 3,200 at Trabuco Hills.
But it wasn't without some anxious moments in the final 3 minutes 5 seconds, when Corona del Mar's Josh Walz passed seven yards to Tyler Stonebreaker to pull the Sea Kings (5-2, 1-1) within one touchdown of winning.
From there, El Toro (6-1, 2-0), which is averaging 37 points per game, did what it does best--get the ball in Murle Sango's hands. Sango carried the ball the final five plays of the game, including a seven-yard loss as he tried to run out the final five seconds on fourth and 11 at the Sea King 39.
Sango finished with 21 carries for 97 yards, and caught five passes for 117. He scored three touchdowns, on one catch of four yards and runs of seven and one yard.
El Toro's Steve Krupp completed 15 of 18 passes for 290 yards and two interceptions--the first of which ended in a touchdown for Corona del Mar; Josh Walz returned it 46 yards for a 7-0 Sea King lead.
It was their only lead.
The game featured plenty of offense (769 yards combined, 466 passing) and two defensive touchdowns.
El Toro hardly cornered the market on offense. Corona del Mar's Tom O'Meara rushed 18 times for 156 yards and Walz completed 12 of 20 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. The pass he had intercepted was returned for a 32-yard touchdown by Matt Steinau.
Walz was involved in every Corona del Mar score; he also rushed 14 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns, of one and four yards.
El Toro scored on its second, third and fourth possessions to take a 19-7 lead, and then Steinau's interception made it 26-7 before the Sea Kings began their comeback.
It began with Walz's nine-yard scoring pass to Scott Shimer at the end of the half after Ryan Burns had intercepted a Krupp pass in the opposite end zone.
The Sea Kings added another score on its first possession of the second half to make the score 26-21.
But the early score was just a blip in this game. El Toro was in the end zone three plays and 56 seconds later; a 45-yard screen pass to Sango with an eight-yard personal foul attached to it, Sango's seven-yard run and, finally, Krupp's one-yard sneak. Johnson's point-after made it 33-21.
El Toro scored on its next possession, too, going 72 yards in 10 plays--the last being Sango's one-yard run. Sango had gains of 10, 12, 12, 11 yards, and a 26-yard screen pass.