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Football: Four more TD passes for Conner Manning

_A121000Conner Manning is enjoying what looks to be another record-breaking season at Lake Forest El Toro.

The Utah-bound quarterback is not only filling the stat sheets with mind-boggling numbers, he also has the Chargers in contention for a South Coast League title. Ten months ago, he passed his team all the way to the CIF-SS Southwest Division finals, but this year El Toro moved to the tougher Pac-5 Division.  

So far the step up in competition hasn't phased Manning one bit. After tossing four touchdown passes against Tesoro in Friday night's 41-31 victory, he has 34 TDs on the season and only three interceptions. Those are numbers even NFL great Peyton Manning would be proud of.   

While a junior last season, Manning broke the Orange County single-season passing record with 4,219 yards, shattering the previous mark of 3,560 yards set by former Santa Ana Mater Dei quarterback Matt Barkley, now a Heisman Trophy candidate at USC.

Earlier this season, Manning broke the Orange County single-game yardage record with 613 ards to go along with six TDs against Valhalla. With two regular season games to go and over 3,200 passing yards already in the books, Manning is ahead of last year's pace. He needs eight TDs to better his total from last season... not that he's counting.

"Sure, individual records are great, but right now the only record I care about is 8-0," Manning said, referring to the Chargers' record. "Whatever I end up with is fine as long as I'm helping the team win."

Manning has committed to Utah and said he'll be at the Rose Bowl cheering for the Utes when they take on UCLA in Saturday's Pac-12 Conference game. El Toro began the week ranked 17th in the Southland by The Times.

Should the Chargers get past Trabuco Hills on Friday they'll have a bye week to prepare for their own showdown against undefeated Mission Viejo. Whether or not Manning breaks his own single-season record could depend on how far his team advances in the playoffs. How's that for incentive? 

-- Steve Galluzzo 

Photo: El Toro quarterback Conner Manning needs seven more touchdown passes to equal the 41 that he threw in 14 games as a junior last season. Credit: Steve Galluzzo / For The Times

 
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