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Football: QB Conner Manning is the toast of Orange County

December 3, 2011 |  9:47 am

Junior quarterback Conner Manning of El Toro has put his team into the Southwest Division championship game after passing for 465 yards and two touchdowns in a 47-41 win over La Habra.

Manning increased his season total to 3,946 passing yards, which means he has passed Matt Barkley as the single-season leader in Orange County history. Barkley passed for 3,560 yards in 2007 at Mater Dei.

The 6-foot-2 Manning spent the offseason quietly working on his skills, and Coach Robert Frith said it has paid off.

"I've never seen a kid work like him," Frith said.

La Habra had won four consecutive section titles and trailed, 47-13, before scoring four consecutive touchdowns and taking advantage of two onside kicks to give El Toro a scare.

El Toro, which uses a spread offense with no huddle, will face Tustin in Saturday's final at Angel Stadium, a fitting place for a quarterback who will draw the interest of college recruiters for 2013.

-- Eric Sondheimer