Christopher Soto used his legs and his right arm to lead the Huntington Beach Green Chargers to a 24-6 victory Saturday over the Hacienda Heights Phantoms in Pop Warner Football Mighty Mite Division action at Manzanita Park in Hacienda Heights.
By the time the game had finished, all of Soto's teammates could say they made a contribution.
Soto had touchdown runs of 49, 52 and 30 yards on his way to rushing for 156 yards on just seven carries. He completed two passes — both to Cole Koffler — totaling 29 yards and connected on scoring passes on all three point-after-touchdown attempts. Two of those passes went to Dillon Blake and one to Jake Brown.
"We had an excellent passing game today," Chargers Coach Dareld Karns said. "That's the first time at the Mighty Mite level (ages 8, 9 and 10) where I actually saw the quarterback (Soto) look off a receiver and throw to another guy."
Blake and Brown both had outstanding overall games. Besides the scoring catches on the PAT attempts, Brown also recovered a fumble and Blake added an interception and a touchdown-saving tackle.
Offensively, the Chargers spread it around, getting 52 yards on four carries from Shane Dzwilewski, 19 yards on five carries from Ryan Karns and 13 yards on five carries from Nick Morrell.
Early on, the Chargers appeared well on their way to a blowout. After two long touchdown runs by Soto, both coming on a quarterback bootleg around left end, Dzwilewski took a handoff from the fullback position and burst up the middle for 44 yards before being dragged down at the one-yard-line. Already up, 14-0, in the second quarter, the Chargers decided to try to attempt a field goal and Koffler, who has kicked several PATs this season, split the uprights on a 16-yard attempt to give the Chargers a 17-0 halftime lead.
Except for a Phantoms touchdown on a reverse in the third quarter, the Chargers defense was imposing all game long. Everyone got into the act, including Sean Angelovic, John Chandler, Robert Cronk, Justin Frechette, Jadon Furubotten, Nico Gagnon, Cade Haakenson, Jagger Iovinelli, Mateo Lopez, Shaymus Manning, Ryan Mazza, Dawson Ray, Ivan Soto, Tanner Stoffal and Nixon Wiltfong. Trey Tadevic, sidelined because of a concussion, was an inspiration from the bench.
"The defense did a great job, really penetrating their offensive line," Dareld Karns said. "But that reverse they scored for a touchdown showed we need to work on our corners not getting sucked in. They need to be disciplined and stay at home, especially (Saturday) against Tustin."
The Chargers (3-5) travel Saturday to play the Tustin Black Cobras at 11 a.m. at Foothill High.
— Joe Haakenson
Junior All-American Football
Jr. Clinic Division
Huntington Beach 25, Whittier 0: The Oilers improved to 6-0 by overwhelming the Trojans at La Serna High in Whittier on Saturday.
Two runs covering 35 yards by running back Aden Eckenwiler on Huntington's first possession took the Oilers down to the Whittier 15-yard line and set up a 15-yard touchdown by Dominic Peseti, who scored on a sweep. Peseti also scored later in the half and linebacker Garrett Dailey and cornerback Daryeus Smolenski had big stops on defense for the Oilers before the half.
The Oilers struck again in the third quarter. A 25-yard run by Nathan Skorheim was followed by a touchdown run by his brother, quarterback Nick Skorheim, who went up center behind Nathan Halloran for the score. Eckenwiler scored his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.
Jonah Del Rosario had a fumble recovery and Halloran, Troy Fletcher, Jake Favazza, Luke Frederick and Blake Gilbert turned in strong defensive efforts for the Oilers.
Also last weekend, the Huntington Beach Jr. Clinic cheerleaders captured first place in a division competition.
The Oilers next battle the undefeated Cerritos Steelers at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Cerritos Sports Complex.
Huntington Beach 27, Downey 12: Huntington came out strong from the start and raced to a 20-6 halftime lead and went on to defeat the Mustangs. Trent Fletcher, Garrett Wildermuth and Chandler Fincher scored first-half touchdowns. An interception in the second half by Raymond Baker set up another touchdown run by Fincher.
The Oilers take on undefeated Cerritos at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cerritos Sports Complex.
Pee Wee Division
Carson 32, Huntington Beach 30: The Oilers scored five touchdowns but couldn't convert any of their point-after attempts and lost a close game to the Colts.
Jr. Future League
Mission Viejo 24, Huntington Beach 0: Coach Rich Rector's Oilers continued to show toughness as they fell to an older, more experienced Cowboys team Saturday.