Joe Borchard seldom has an off night for Camarillo High.
Borchard, the Scorpions’ prolific senior quarterback, had one Friday night at St. Francis High. But it didn’t hurt the Scorpions, as running back John Howe picked up the slack by rushing for 264 yards and a touchdown in 20 carries to lead Camarillo to a 35-18 victory in a Southern Section Division III quarterfinal.
Howe, a junior, led an offensive attack in which 308 of 440 yards were gained on the ground.
Borchard, who entered the game with 2,394 yards and 25 touchdown passes, completed just eight of 21 attempts for 132 yards and two touchdowns. However, Borchard was only five of 16 for 92 yards in the first half and made several poor throws.
Borchard’s touchdown passes of five and 33 yards to Justin Denham came with less then five minutes to play, after Camarillo had taken control of the game, 21-10.
But no one on the Camarillo sideline was complaining about numbers after the game.
“We came in here and got a win and we are headed to the semifinals,” Borchard said. “What’s there to be unhappy about.
“I was off in the first half. I missed a couple of big throws.”
Camarillo Coach Carl Thompson shrugged off his quarterback’s performance.
“He just had an off night. I don’t know why,” Thompson said. “So we just ran the ball.”
Howe’s 18-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter gave Camarillo (11-1) the lead for good at 14-10.
Howe’s rushing total was a career high.
“Their defense was good,” Howe said. “I just don’t think they were ready for us to run.”
St. Francis (8-4) took a 7-0 lead on a two-yard run by senior tailback Robert Milton.
Camarillo fullback Joe Hallowell slammed four yards for a touchdown to pull the Scorpions even, 7-7, early in the second quarter.
St. Francis went ahead, 10-7, on a 37-yard field goal by Chris Palic. But the Golden Knights had trouble mounting an attack the rest of the game.
Milton, who entered the game with 1,863 rushing yards, provided St. Francis with its final score by running 80 yards with a shovel pass from Kevin Danni with 39 seconds to play. Milton finished with 98 yards in 19 carries.
Camarillo’s running game was the difference, St. Francis Coach Bill Redell said.
“We felt they would run the ball on us,” Redell said, “but we didn’t handle it.”
The game was delayed for 15 minutes midway through the second quarter when St. Francis’ Paul Chonkolnun was injured in a collision while trying to field a rolling kickoff.