Los Angeles Preps: Jonathan Thropay
November, 10, 2011
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
CHINO HILLS -- Charter Oak quarterback Travis Santiago put an end to concerns about his sprained ankle rather quickly Thursday night.
Hobbling and in pain, the senior barely warmed up before the game. When he walked onto the field for the first drive, he did so gingerly. But then, when Santiago hit Chris Gilchrist with a fade pass on the first play from scrimmage, the lingering doubts disappeared. Gilchrist stormed into the end zone untouched, and all was well with Santiago's psyche.
Santiago, usually a running threat, was not mobile but still excelled, passing for 288 yards and two touchdowns, and leading the Chargers to the Sierra League title with a 38-7 win against defending champion Chino Hills.
"I was a little bit stiff," said Santiago, who rolled his ankle by accidentally stepping on his helmet during Wednesday's walk-through practice. "That first play was exciting. I got the matchup that I wanted, threw it over the top and had my 6-foot-5 receiver do the rest."
Santiago took a seat early in the fourth quarter when No. 20 Charter Oak (9-1, 5-0) went up comfortably. He finished the regular season with 2,624 passing yards and 21 touchdown passes.
Sophomore sensation Kurt Scoby, who heading into Thursday was dealing with a left ankle sprain of his own, rushed for two second-half touchdowns and had 119 yards through the ground. His 40-yard scoring scamper with 10:22 remaining sealed it.
"We executed," Scoby said, "and were patient with the football."
Charter Oak’s high-octane attack struck quickly early in the second half. Santiago found Aaren Vaughns for a 14-yard touchdown and, minutes later, Scoby ran for a 36-yard score, giving the Chargers a 24-7 advantage. After trailing by only three at the break, Chino Hills (6-4, 4-1) found itself in too big of a hole.