December 10, 2012 | 9:11am
Most of the people Orange County sends to the nation's capital are prone to empty, partisan rhetoric, but on Sunday Mission Viejo's Richard Crawford showed that the way to win a genuine standing ovation in the Washington, D.C. area is with raw athletic prowess.
Crawford--who attended Oceanside's El Camino High School, Saddleback Community College and then Southern Methodist University in Dallas--ran a breathtaking 64-yard punt return in overtime to help the Washington Redskins win an upset, 31-28 defeat of the Baltimore Ravens.
Sports writers in D.C. report that Redskins coaches have been elated with Crawford's athleticism and attitude since selecting him in the seventh round of the last draft as a speedy defensive back from SMU.
Orange County's Mark Sanchez, who has struggled this season as quarterback for the New York Jets, fumbled the ball on Sunday to the Jacksonville Jaguars but completed 12 of 19 passes in the Jets win.
Matt Leinhart, another OC-raised quarterback, didn't play in the Oakland Raiders loss to the Denver Broncos.
Atlanta Falcons superstar Tony Gonzales, a Huntington Beach High School graduate, caught eight passes for 61 yards in a loss to the Carolina Panthers.