COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 2 Ventura (4-0) at Moorpark (1-3)
45th Citrus Cup game
Griffin Stadium, 7 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Ventura 30, Bakersfield 24 (4OT); Hancock 49, Moorpark 40
SERIES HISTORY: After winning just three of the previous 21 meetings from 1986 to 2008 to cede Moorpark the series lead, Ventura has won the last four to retake the edge, 23-21.Ventura won 31-26 last year.
GAME FACTS: Behind QB Ebahn Feathers (88-of-154 passing, 958 yards, 10 TDs, 5 ints.) and an army of backs (seven) and receivers (10), Ventura is No. 6 in scoring (37.0 ppg). But a defense that has allowed 25.0 points per game and leads SoCal with eight fumble recoveries has been the steadiest aspect of the team. DL Tyshon Lee-Hodges has four sacks and Matt Arve has two interceptions. Moorpark has been twice as productive with Ben Conlin (46-of-81 passing, 441 yards, 5 TDs, 3 ints.) at QB and Brent Stevens (13 rec., 180 yards, 4 TDs) at WR. RB Jordan Nunnery has 322 yards from scrimmage. Moorpark LB Travis Key leads the team with 33 tackles and seven for losses and CB Victor Fermin has three interceptions. Both teams can score on special teams. Moorpark PK Derek Kirk leads the state in field goals (9 for 9 with an average of 41.2 yards). Ventura is No. 6 in kickoff returns (26.5 ypr), featuring Jordan Howard, who returned a kick 93 yards for a TD last week.
September 2012 Archives
COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The Green Bay Packers weren't the only burned by a referee's double-catch ruling this past weekend.
The Moorpark College football team's wild, back-and-forth 49-40 loss at Hancock Saturday hinged on a fourth-and-3 play with little more than two minutes left.
Quarterback Ben Conlin had just hit Brent Stevens with a 38-yard scoring strike to bring the Raiders within 42-40. The Moorpark defense was fighting to get the ball back to set up kicker Derek Kirk for a potential game-winning kick.
Hancock quarterback Brandon Jeffries' fourth-down pass was deflected into the air by Moorpark safety Steven Townsley and came down into a crowd of players.
"I timed my jump perfectly," Townsley said. "I hit the ball with my elbow pretty much. I saw the ball bounce off (a Hancock) shoulder pad and hit (Moorpark linebacker) Travis (Key).
"I saw him grab it and fall to the ground, so I laid on top of him. When he was on the bottom, he had the ball on his chest."
Yet the two teams combined to fight for the ball. Possession was not only awarded to Hancock, the spot of the ball was adjudged to have gained first-down yardage, despite it being a 3-yard gain on fourth and 3.
"The umpire wouldn't even give us the benefit of the doubt with a measurement," Moorpark coach Will Thurston said.
"We asked for a measurement," Townsley said. "It was a frustrating call."
The decision was even more frustrating for the Raiders because they were essentially 40 yards from field-goal range and a win, considering Derek Kirk has been nothing short of automatic as a freshman.
"It was set up perfectly," Moorpark quarterback Ben Conlin said. "I trust Derek anywhere on the field and the wind was at our back, too."
The St. Bonaventure High product leads the state in field goal kicking, with nine makes in nine attempts, including kicks of 46, 47 and 48 yards.
The kicking game is one place where 1-3 Moorpark has an advantage over unbeaten Ventura College in Saturday night 's 45th Citrus Cup game.
Ventura kickers Carlos Luna and Kevin Kircher combined to miss five field goals in Saturday's wild quadruple-overtime win over Bakersfield, including three potential game-winners.
"They've been good... They're not bad kickers," Ventura coach Steve Mooshagian said. "They just had a bad game... It was just one those games when nobody could make a kick."
Two of the five misses were blocked. Kircher, the designated kicker from distance, saw his low 48-yarder on the final snap of regulation batted down at the line. Luna's 20-yarder on the final snap of the third overtime was tipped at the line.
"The guy came through," Mooshagian said. "That was on the protection... He just got his hand on it and changed the trajectory of the kick."
Mooshagian said the two would continue to compete in practice this week.
"They'll be fine, Mooshagian said. "They've been pretty good most of the year."
Three dramatic finishes in its first four games, including Saturday's quadruple-overtime classic, may have an affect on Ventura College's offensive playbook.
"We've spent a lot of time early in the year working in the red zone," Mooshagian said Saturday. "I think we're going to have to put in a whole another offense because we've used everything.
"We're going to have put some new stuff."
Going into Saturday's trip north, Moorpark knew it was facing a challenge with Hancock running back Curtis Artis-Payne. The state leader in rushing and touchdowns lived up to the hype with 235 yards rushing and four touchdowns
Thurston, who -- once upon a time -- was Jamal Anderson's running back coach, was impressed.
"He's pretty talented," Thurston said. "I love the guy's lean. He hits the hole and he's got his shoulders over his toes. He keeps his legs going. Not a lot of spinning, just really sharp cuts.
"He's a dream for most coaches going north and south the way he does."
Saturday's quadruple-overtime win earned the Ventura College football team two of the three SCFA Northern Conference Player of the Week awards.
Defensive end Tyshon Lee-Hodges -- a Bakersfield native, no less -- earned the defensive honors by piling up 11 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks in the win over Bakersfield.
Hours after tweeting that he would take a "return to the crib tonight," Ventura CB Jordan Howard earned special teams honors by returning three kickoffs for a 56.3-yard average, including a 92-yard touchdown.
"Jordan was huge," coach Steve Mooshagian said. "He really did change the momentum of the game twice."
Former Moorpark College star Conrad Meadows is still making big plays.
The Moorpark High and Northern Arizona product is playing in the German Football League for Berlin Adler, whose youth team produced promising Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner.
Meadows will play in the GFL semifinals Saturday at the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. The winner advances to the German Bowl XXXVIII next week in Berlin.
One of the replacement NFL referees in the middle of the Packers-Seahawks Monday Night Football is a community college referee from Santa Maria.
KSBY and the Santa Maria Times reported that Lance Easley, the ref who signaled touchdown on Golden Tate's controversial Hail Mary "catch" was the backjudge for last year's VC-El Camino game.
CCCFCA Southern California poll
College Rec. Previous
1. Mt. San Antonio (4-0) 1
2. Ventura (4-0) 2
3. Riverside (3-1) 3
4. Hancock (3-1) 7
5. Grossmont (3-1) 10
6. Citrus (3-1) 4
7. Mt. San Jacinto (4-0) 12
8. Orange Coast (3-1) 18
9. L.A. Harbor (2-2) 6
10. Bakersfield (2-2) 11
11. Palomar (2-2) 5
12. Saddleback (1-2) 13
13. Cerritos (1-2) 14
14. Golden West (2-2) 8
15. Antelope Valley (3-0) 17
16. East L.A. (3-1) 9
17. El Camino (2-2) 16
18. Fullerton (2-2) 20
19. Southwestern (3-1) 19
20. Santa Ana (2-2) 15
Others: Santa Monica (3-1), Desert (1-2), L.A. Pierce (2-1.
Dropped out: None.
CCCFCA State poll
College Rec. Previous
1. City College San Francisco (4-0) 1
2. Mt. San Antonio (4-0) 2
3. Butte (4-0) 3
4. Ventura (4-0) 5
5. American River (4-0), 4
6. San Mateo (4-0) 6
7. Riverside (3-1) 9
8. Sequoias (4-0) 17
9. Fresno (3-1) 7
10. San Joaquin Delta (3-1) 8
11. Hancock (3-1) 15
12. Modesto (3-1) 10
13. Grossmont (3-1) 20
14. Citrus (3-1) 11
15. Mt. San Jacinto (4-0) 22
16. Foothill (3-1) 12
17. Orange Coast (3-1) NR
18. L.A. Harbor (2-2) 14
19. DeAnza (3-1) 25
20. Bakersfield (2-2) 21
21. Palomar (2-2) 13
22. Siskiyous (3-1) NR
23. Saddleback (1-2) 23
24. Cerritos (1-2) 24
25. Golden West (2-2) 16
Others: Antelope Valley (3-0), Santa Rosa (2-2), East L.A. (3-1), Diablo Valley (1-3), Southwestern (3-1), Fullerton (2-2), El Camino (2-2). Sacramento (2-2).
Northern Conference Overall
Team W-L W-L PF PA
Ventura 1-0 4-0 148 100
Hancock 1-0 3-1 155 114
Canyons 1-0 1-3 119 137
Cerritos 0-0 1-2 74 85
Bakersfield 0-1 2-2 95 100
Moorpark 0-1 1-3 95 143
Pasadena City 0-1 0-4 65 144
Last week's results
Ventura 30, Bakersfield 24 (4OT)
Hancock 49, Moorpark 40
Canyons 36, Pasadena City 14
This week's schedule
Ventura at Moorpark, 7 p.m.
Canyons at Bakersfield, 6 p.m.
Cerritos at Pasadena City 6 p.m.
The kickoff for Saturday's 45th Citrus Cup game between the Ventura College and Moorpark College football teams at Griffin Stadium has been pushed back 7 p.m.
The game at Moorpark was originally scheduled to be an afternoon kickoff, like the Raiders' first two home games against Citrus Sept. 8 and Santa Ana Sept. 15.
"As heated as the rivalry is with our sister college, the most important outcome is that all student athletes leave the game as healthy as possible," Moorpark athletic director Howard Davis said in a release. "Our first game was warm, with a short period of extreme heat. But, the last home game was brutal throughout the game.
"There is no reason to risk anyone's safety when a simple game time change can make it more comfortable for all parties."
Moorpark's last two home dates Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 remain unchanged.
Here's "Healthier VC hopes to go 4-0," the preview of today's community college football games -- No. 11 Bakersfield at No. 2 Ventura and Moorpark at No. 7 Hancock.
Here's the preview capsules:
COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 11 Bakersfield (2-1) at No. 2 Ventura (3-0)
VC Sportsplex, 6 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Bakersfield 31, Fullerton 17; Ventura 39, Los Angeles Harbor 35.
SERIES HISTORY: Bakersfield leads the series, 24-6-1, in a series
dating back to 1932. Ventura won 13-0 last year at home.
GAME FACTS: Tonight is a rare opportunity for Ventura, which hasn't beaten Bakersfield in back-to-back seasons in 71 years. Ventura QB Ebahn Feathers (70-for-107 passing, 703 yards, 8 TDs, 4 ints.) is coming off a SCFA Northern Conference Offensive Player of the Week performance. WR Dylan McDaniel (17 rec., 221 yards, 3 TDs) has been his main target, but nine other WRs have caught passes. The Renegades are capable of pounding the ball on the ground with RBs Jalen Sykes, who had 157 yards and a TD last week, and Curtis McGregor, or letting quarterback Brian Burrell, who had 370 yards and 4 TDs passing against Santa Ana, throw it up. A playmaking defense has six sacks and five interceptions through three games.
Moorpark (1-2) at No. 7 Hancock (2-1)
Righetti High, 4 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Santa Ana 45, Moorpark 16; Golden West 35, Hancock 32.
SERIES HISTORY: Moorpark leads, 14-13, in a series dating back to 1971. Hancock won 44-17 last year.
GAME FACTS: Moorpark's defensive front will be tested by Hancock RB Curtis Artis-Payne, who leads the state in both rushing (546 yards) and touchdowns (7). Hancock is very efficient, thanks to QB Brandon Jeffries (37-for-61 passing, 699 yards, 7 TDs, 1 int.), WR Nicko Shellow (12 rec., 262 yards, 4 TDs) and TE Connor Allen (8 rec., 152 yards, 2 TDs). Moorpark QB Ben Conlin (16-for-28 passing, 166 yards, TD) is expected to return after missing two weeks with a concussion. That could see Brent Stevens (27-for-51 passing, 214 yards, 2 TDs) shift back to receiver. That may be enough to spark a Raiders offense that has relied on RBs Jordan Nunnery (237 yards from scrimmage) and Ronny Camacho.
When the California Community College Athletic Association released its initial state and regional women's soccer polls earlier this week, the Ventura College women's soccer team was conspicuous by its absence.
Perhaps at any other moment in its history, Ventura, which has won more than 80 percent of its matches since first kicking a ball in 1996, would belong among the ranked elite.
But, when the poll was released Tuesday, the Pirates were mired in the longest losing streak in school history.
"It's been a reality check," sophomore midfielder Shayna Pettersen said.
Although the four-match losing streak, which ended with a 4-1 win over Santa Monica on Tuesday night, didn't necessarily incite panic.
"We were in every one of those games," coach Steve Hoffman said. "We should have probably got a draw in several of them."
The competition has been of the highest caliber. Four of VC's five losses have come against unbeaten teams ranked in the top 10 of the NSCAA national coaches poll. No. 1 Santiago Canyon, No. 3 Cerritos, No. 8 Cypress and No. 9 Canyons entered the week a combined 20-0-3.
"The kids have got to cut themselves a little bit of slack," Hoffman said. "It's not your normal schedule because of the quality of the teams we've played. It's been a good challenge and the kids have actually done quite well."
Which isn't to say there hasn't been issues. Problems at the back have meant Hoffman has yet to start the same lineup twice. Goalkeeper Katelyn White (Camarillo High) was out with a shoulder injury for most of the streak and the back four has been musical chairs.
Freshman Shayne Wells (Oxnard High) is the only settled member of the defense. Fullback Dakota Thompson (Ventura) is out with a broken hand and, recently, Hoffman has moved freshman forward Taylor C'debaca (Agoura) to fullback and sophomore midfielder Danielle Cook (Ventura) to central defender in an effort to stop the bleeding.
The rest of the team has been steady. The attacking trident of Daisy Cardona (Buena), Breanna Naranjo (Pacifica), and Yasmin Lepez (Pacifica) has combined for 11 goals and six assists. Playmaker Lupita Magana (Santa Paula) already has three goals and four assists and the rest of midfield, wingers Stephanie Hernandez (Ventura) and A.J. Tewes (Buena) and organizer Pettersen (Oxnard), has been solid.
Knowing there is no more room for error, Ventura (4-5) hosts Bakersfield tonight before opening Western State Conference play Sept. 28 against Hancock.
The Pirates have never lost more than six matches in a season.
When Megan Erskine left San Diego State and returned home to play for Ventura College last fall, the former Buena High star wasn't quite sure about her soccer future.
But the 2011 NSCAA All-American made her decision Tuesday, when she committed to the University of Tennessee.
"Everyone is all shocked that I'm leaving California," said the former U.S. youth international, who was also recruited by Ohio State, Oklahoma, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, Oregon and Washington State.
This time last year, Erskine, who finished second in the state with 14 assists last season, wasn't sure she wanted to continue playing or transfer outside of the state.
"I'm just in a different place now, I want to do it all on my own," Erskine said. "I was 16 when I started my recruiting process. I'm a little more mature now.
"Now I want to be with a team that makes me feel home rather than being close to home. That's what Tennessee offers."
On her official visit to Knoxville, Erskine watched the Volunteers play twice and also took in the Tennessee-Florida football game from the sidelines at Neyland Stadium.
The Oxnard College men's soccer team's annual trip to Santa Barbara City has been one of the biggest matches in the Western State Conference race over the past decade. The two teams have combined to win the past five WSC titles.
So Tuesday's 1-0 win at La Playa Stadium was a big result for the Condors (4-1-1), who are ranked No. 8 in Southern California, No. 14 in the state and No. 17 in the nation.
"I think the conference is going to be more evenly balanced, so every away win is big," Oxnard coach Ross Greaney said. "It's pretty big to get three points there."
Newbury Park High product Stevie Trujillo headed home a free kick Roque Magana (Santa Paula) in the first half.
Ventura College quarterback Ebahn Feathers was named SCFA Northern Conference Offensive Player of the Week after completing 27 of 40 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns, plus two rushing touchdowns, in Saturday's 39-35 win at Los Angeles Harbor.
Ventura coach Steve Mooshagian said the former Fresno State quarterback, who has sat out the last three years, is returning to form.
"He is improving," Mooshagian said. "You can see some of the rust is coming off."
The Moorpark College football team may be standing at the crossroads of its season.
The Raiders are now 1-2 after Saturday's disappointing, 45-16 home loss to Santa Ana and, with a trip to No. 7 Hancock (2-1) followed by the Citrus Cup game against No. 2 Ventura (3-0), will open Northern Conference play with back-to-back games against two of the top teams in Southern California.
"We're hanging in there," defensive coordinator Mike Stuart said. "This team is going to break out soon. This isn't a bad team."
Moorpark struggled in all three phases Saturday.
The defense allowed Santa Ana to take the opening kickoff and put together a 10-play touchdown drive, which included a 14-yard pass on third-and-14.
After Moorpark took the lead, 10-6, on Ronny Camacho's 67-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, a special-teams blunder turned a rolling Santa Ana punt into a 78-yard boot to the Raiders' 1-yard line. Jordan Nunnery was stopped in the end zone for a safety on the next play.
Moorpark still would have reached the locker room with halftime lead had a blown coverage not gifted Santa Ana a 69-yard scoring strike with only 26 seconds left in the half.
"Really big mental mistakes," Stuart said. "Simple things."
The rest of the afternoon was no better. Moorpark received the second-half kickoff and lined up with 10 players, which forced an immediate timeout.
Even the lone bright spot of the second half, Victor Fermin's interception return for a touchdown, was spoiled by an unsportsmanlike-conduct flag on the talented cornerback as he approached the end zone.
"It was a frustrating game," Stuart said. "But they're back out there. Practice seemed a lot more alive (Tuesday)."
The Raiders have apparently shown some fight in practice this week with a couple skirmishes.
"That's what we need," Stuart said. "The intensity needs to build."
A dip in intensity nearly spelled disaster for the Ventura College football team Saturday, when the unbeaten Pirates nearly gave away a 27-point fourth-quarter lead at Los Angeles Harbor.
"I hope we don't have any more of those," Ventura coach Steve Mooshagian said. "I know what happened. We all got greedy. The players got greedy, the coaches got greedy, and we starting letting up."
Rather than worrying about which reserves were going to get which snaps, Mooshagian said the Pirates should have been focused on closing out the opponent.
"We were still doing some things we shouldn't have been doing," Mooshagian said. "We shouldn't have been throwing the football. We gave them a chance to get back into the game. It was a little too soon to start celebrating.They were ready to fold and we let them back in."
Fourth-quarter leads of 33-6 and 39-13 shrunk to 39-35 with four minutes to play. Harbor had the ball inside the Ventura 2 with one second left, but were turned away on the final play of the game.
So the Pirates learned some lessons without paying for them in the loss column.
"I take the blame for that and I'm not going to let it happen again," Mooshagian said.
After missing two weeks with a mild concussion, Moorpark quarterback Ben Conlin has returned to practice. The Westlake High product led the Raiders to the 23-20 overtime win at Orange Coast on Sept. 1.
"I'm good to go," Conlin said.
Both Ventura stars missing in Saturday's dramatic win, running back Victor Caro Jr. (turf toe) and linebacker P.J. Gremaud (shoulder), returned to practice Monday.
"This is the healthiest we've been since Riverside," Mooshagian said.
A full house is expected Saturday night at the VC Sportsplex, when No. 2 Ventura (3-0) opens Northern Conference play by hosting No. 11 Bakersfield (2-1) in a matchup of perhaps the two SCFA schools with the biggest followings.
Bakersfield (3,052) and Ventura (2,326) finished 1-2 in Southern California in paid attendance last fall.
There will certainly be a packed house in the Sportsplex press boxes. SoCalCollegeSports.com is webcasting the game. KERN (1180 AM) Bakersfield is broadcasting the game.
The unbeaten start pushed Ventura to No. 5 and No. 9 in the CCCFCA state and JCFootball.com national polls this week.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Southern California Football Association
Northern Conference Overall
Team W-L W-L PF PA
Ventura 0-0 3-0 118 76
Hancock 0-0 2-1 106 74
Bakersfield 0-0 2-1 81 70
Moorpark 0-0 1-2 55 94
Cerritos 0-0 1-2 74 85
Canyons 0-0 0-3 83 123
Pasadena City 0-0 0-3 51 108
Last week's results
Ventura 39, Los Angeles Harbor 35
Santa Ana 45, Moorpark 16
Golden West 35, Hancock 32
Bakersfield 31, Fullerton 17
Mount San Antonio 20, Cerritos 8
Desert 48, Canyons 30
El Camino 46, Pasadena City 27
This week's schedule
Moorpark at Hancock, 4 p.m.
Bakersfield at Ventura, 6 p.m.
Pasadena City at Canyons, 7 p.m.
Ventura College stays at No. 2 in this week's CCCFCA Southern California coaches' poll. Moorpark College drops out.
CCCFCA Southern California poll
College Rec. Previous
1. Mt. San Antonio (3-0) 1
2. Ventura (3-0) 2
3. Riverside (2-1) 3
4. Citrus (3-0) 11
5. Palomar (2-1) 8
6. L.A. Harbor (2-1) 6
7. Hancock (2-1) 4
8. Golden West (2-1) 12
9. East L.A. (3-0) 10
10. Grossmont (2-1) 7
11. Bakersfield (2-1) 16
12. Mt. San Jacinto (3-0) 14
13. Saddleback (1-2) 5
14. Cerritos (1-2) 9
15. Santa Ana (2-1) 20
16. El Camino (1-2) 17
17. Antelope Valley (2-0) 18
18. Orange Coast (2-1) NR
19. Southwestern (2-1) 15
20. Fullerton (1-2) 13
Others: Desert (1-2), Glendale (2-1), Santa Monica (2-1).
Dropped out: Moorpark (1-2)
Ventura College moves up one slot to No. 9 in this week's JCFootball.com national poll.
JC Grid-wire/JCFootball.com national poll
College Rec. Previous
1. East Mississippi (3-0) 1
2. Mt. San Antonio (3-0) 2
3. C.C. San Francisco (3-0) 3
4. Iowa Western (4-0) 4
5. Butler, Kan. (4-0) 5
6. Arizona Western (2-0) 6
7. Navarro, Tex. (3-0) 7
8. Miss. Gulf Coast (3-0) 8
9. Ventura (3-0) 10
10. Riverside (2-1) 11
11. Hutchinson, Kan. (3-1) 13
12. San Mateo (3-0) 15
13. American River (3-0) 16
14. Fresno (3-0) 14
15. Butte (3-0) 17
16. N.W. Miss (2-0) 23
17. San Joaquin Delta (3-0) NR
18. Palomar (2-1) 21
19. Itawamba, Miss. (3-0) 25
20. Saddleback (1-2) 9
21. L.A. Harbor (2-1) 19
22. NE Oklahoma A&M (3-0) NR
23. Kilgore, Tex. (3-0) NR
24. Citrus (3-0) NR
25. Hinds, Miss. (2-1) 18
Others: New Mexico Military, Georgia Military, Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.), Snow (Utah), ASA (N.Y.), Lackawanna (Pa.), Foothill, El Camino, Bakersfield, Scottsdale (Az.), Blinn (Tex.), Hancock, Trinity Valley (Tex.).
Here's the preview of today's community college football games, "VC faces another team climbing up the ranks," which looks at Ventura College's visit to Los Angeles Harbor and Moorpark's home game against Santa Ana.
And here are the preview capsules:
COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 2 Ventura (2-0) at No. 6 Los Angeles Harbor (2-0)
WHEN/WHERE: Today, 6 p.m., Casey Field
LAST WEEK: Ventura 51, Long Beach City 14; Los Angeles Harbor 42, Golden West 7.
SERIES HISTORY: Harbor leads, 14-11, dating back to 1962. Harbor won the last meeting, 10-0, in 2007.
GAME FACTS: To continue its promising start, Ventura must contend with Harbor QB Max Baiz, who has completed 35 of 52 passes for 472 yards, four TDs and also run for 92 yards and a TD. Ranked No. 7 in total defense (292.0 ypg) and No. 12 in scoring defense (20.5 ppg), Ventura's defense has been its most consistent unit so far. LB P.J. Gremaud is No. 3 in SoCal in tackles (12 per game). QB Ebahn Feathers has completed 54 of 67 passes for 373 yards and six TDs for Ventura, which has also featured seven running backs so far.
No. 20 Santa Ana (1-1) at No. 19 Moorpark (1-1)
WHEN/WHERE: Today, 1 p.m., Griffin Stadium
LAST WEEK: Santa Ana 38, Desert 20; Citrus 29, Moorpark 16.
SERIES HISTORY: Santa Ana leads, 4-3. Santa Ana won the last meeting, 51-36, in 2009.
GAME FACTS: With both teams in the top six in the state in rushing attempts, this game figures to be won at the point of attack. Santa Ana's pro-style offense has been powered by RB Areseo Lakey (45 att., 181 yards, 2 TDs). He'll face a Moorpark defense that is No. 5 in SoCal against the run (70.5 ypg). Moorpark RB Jordan Nunnery (206 yards from scrimmage) has been the Raiders' top weapon offensively. Moorpark has been strongest on special teams. PK Derek Kirk is 4 for 4 on field goals and P Alex Nelson leads SoCal with a 42.1-yard average.
Despite being ranked No. 8 in this week's NSCAA national coaches' poll, the Oxnard College men's soccer team is nowhere near the finished product.
The Condors have already blown two-goal leads in two of their first four matches, which coach Ross Greaney labeled "growing pains."
Oxnard recovered to beat East Los Angeles 4-3 on Sept. 4, but wasn't able to respond to a last-minute equalizer by Santa Monica's Alessandro Canale in Tuesday's Western State Conference opener.
"We're young and naïve," Greaney said.
Oxnard's attack is founded upon striker Travis Bowen, who scored seven goals for the Ventura County Fusion over the summer; winger Max Madrigal, who scored five goals for the Condors as a freshman in 2009; and attacker Cory Vilchis, a freshman from Newbury Park High.
After starting 2-0, Oxnard (2-1-1) has been slowed by injuries. Bowen (hamstring) has missed more than a week. Left back Octavio Mejia, defender Jesse Gallardo and midfielder Victor Magana have also been missing with leg injuries.
After conceding 52 goals in 20 matches a year ago, the Moorpark College men's soccer team has seemingly tightened up at the back this fall.
Backstopped by goalkeepers Shane Dulgeroff (Westlake High) and Gerardo Velasquez, the Raiders (0-0-3) have opened the season with three consecutive scoreless draws.
And the four hours of shutout soccer has come against powerful Orange County opposition. The three opponents -- Santa Ana, Irvine Valley and Cypress -- are a combined 8-2-3 against other opposition.
Already the biggest and, arguably, most competitive Western State Conference race, men's soccer added a ninth WSC team this season when Santa Monica College picked up the sport.
The Corsairs' addition expands conference play to nearly 10 weeks, making the competition even more of a meat grinder.
Despite a pretty backheeled goal by Oxnard freshman Tommy Cruz, Santa Monica picked up its first WSC point Tuesday with Canale's late header. Moorpark hosts Santa Monica today in its WSC opener.
The Ventura College women's water polo team opened its season by going 3-1 at the Saddleback tournament over the weekend.
Jenna Cutino, a returning All-American selection, opened her sophomore season by scoring 16 goals in the four matches.
The Agoura High product was honored as Ventura College's Student-Athlete of the Week.
The Ventura College football team's 2-0 start is opening eyes across both the state and country.
Although head coach Steve Mooshagian is working to keep the Pirates' feet on the field.
"I try to take it low-key," Mooshagian said. "It's still so early in the season. I try to keep polls in proper perspective. I know it's a long season."
Impressive wins over former Mission Conference powers Riverside and Long Beach City has seen Ventura rise to No. 2 in Southern California and No. 7 in the state in this week's California Community College Football Coaches Association polls.
The Pirates also rose three spots to No. 10 in this week's JC Grid-wire/JCFootball.com national poll. The rankings represent a high-water mark for the program since running back Travis Rogers powered it into the 1999 Southern California title game.
"You can't get caught up in these things," Mooshagian said. "People will have to prove each week. You really have to keep it in perspective and stay humble."
Ventura should have no problem focusing on Saturday's trip to No. 2 Los Angeles Harbor, which is also ranked in the state (13) and nation (19).
"Anybody can beat anyone," Mooshagian said.
The Riverside team that Ventura upset on opening night rebounded with an impressive 47-7 win over powerful Palomar, which is why the Tigers are already back up to No. 3 this week.
"It shows the respect that people have for Riverside's program," Mooshagian said. "It also shows newfound respect for our (program). It is flattering."
The Moorpark College football team might have suffered its first loss Saturday, 29-16 to visiting Citrus, but the Raiders appear to be special this year.
Moorpark players have earned the SCFA Northern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week award the first two weeks of the season.
Last week, it was former St. Bonaventure kicker Derek Kirk. This week, Moorpark punter Alex Nelson was honored.
"Those two guys are extremely valuable," Moorpark coach Will Thurston said.
The Moorpark High product averaged 46.5 yards per punt, including a 54-yard boot, pinned two punts inside the Citrus 20-yard line and also completed a pass on a fake punt for a fourth-down conversion.
"Alex had a heck of a week," Thurston said.
Thurston singled out sophomore Brent Stevens, who took over the quarterback role Thursday after starter Ben Conlin felt the affects of a concussion sustained in the season-opening win at Orange Coast.
"That was tough for him coming in on a Thursday and discover he was going to be the starting quarterback," Thurston said. "He's got to get a nod of appreciation there."
Conlin said Tuesday that he felt close to "being cleared," but Thurston isn't expecting him back until next week's trip to Hancock. Which means Stevens will get a chance Saturday to show his capabilities after a full week of preparation.
"Brent's had a full week under his bel, so now it's a little bit different," Thurston said.
Not a great month to be a local running back. Mooshagian said Ventura running back Victor Caro Jr., who missed Saturday's game with turf toe, "is getting closer" to returning.
Thurston said Moorpark running back Jonathan Williams, who suffered a knee sprain in the second quarter Saturday, has been ruled out of Saturday's visit by Santa Ana.
Ventura safety Scotty Wong, however, has already returned to practice after missing one game.
Click here for the preview of today's CC football games, "VC, Moorpark hope to build off opening wins."
And here are the preview capsules:
COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 3 Ventura (1-0) at Long Beach City (0-1)
Veterans Stadium, 1 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Ventura 28, Riverside 27; Fullerton 52, Long Beach 21
SERIES HISTORY: Long Beach leads series, 6-2-1, dating back to 1940. Long Beach won the last meeting, 21-20, in 2006.
GAME FACTS: Ventura made significant plays in all three phases in the season-opening win. QB Ebahn Feathers completed 26 of 42 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. RB Victor Caro Jr. had 64 all-purpose yards and two TDs before suffering turf toe in the first half. WR Dylan McDaniel caught six passes for 67 yards and two scores. The defense, led by LB P.J. Gremaud and S Matt Arve, forced four turnovers. Long Beach fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and never recovered, despite 206 yards passing and two TDs from QB Casey Nielsen.
No. 15 Citrus (1-0) at No. 16 Moorpark (1-0)
Griffin Stadium, 1 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Citrus 31, Pasadena City 14; Moorpark 23, Orange Coast 20 (OT)
SERIES HISTORY: Moorpark leads, 4-1, after last year's 27-21 win in Glendora.
GAME FACTS: The Moorpark defense already off to a great start this fall after allowing just 20 points, 224 yards of total offense and intercepting four passes in its opening win. Citrus also forced four turnovers in its opening win. Citrus QB Bernard Porter completed 18 of 28 passes for 221 yards and 3 TDs. Offensively, Moorpark was led by RB Jordan Nunnery (29 att., 117 yards). After four years off the field, QB Ben Conlin (16-of-28 passing, 116 yards, 1 TD, 1 int.) has now shaken off the cobwebs.
With Karissa Flack now in the green and white of North Texas, the Moorpark College women's volleyball team opens its season tonight with a hole in the middle of the court.
"When you graduate the best middle (blocker) in the state, you're worried about being able to terminate balls," Moorpark coach Steve Burkhart said. "You could always count on Karissa to terminate balls."
Rather than looking to one player to replace the All-America middle blocker, Burkhart will look for everyone on the court to pick up a share of the load.
"We're having to spread it out," Burkhart said.
Moorpark returns middle blocker Gabriella Luciani, right side Brittany Sharpe and outside hitter Rebecca Jones.
"The really nice thing about this team is we have kids who can play different positions," Burkhart said. "I'm hoping we can use that to our advantage a little bit."
Redshirt freshman Brittnie Blanchard, who sat out last season with a knee injury, takes over the setting role. A pair of transfers, middle blocker Erin Parks (Cal Lutheran) and outside hitter Amber Glaab (Newbury Park High, UC Santa Cruz), will also add experience and balance.
"It feels like it's been a long time since I started a fresh, new group," Burkhart said. "We were struggling in those (preseason) scrimmages, but I think we're starting to figure things out."
Moorpark is opening this season tonight against the same school that ended its run last November: Irvine Valley.
"Let's go jump right into the fire," Burkhart said.
Burkhart hints, however, that he'll have to be patient this fall.
"I really feel like this is a late-blossoming team," Burkhart said. "There's a long way to go, but by the time we get to league, I hope we're settling in."
The Ventura College women's volleyball team has already opened the season under first-year coach Jon Roberts, falling at Bakersfield and Long Beach City.
The new-look Pirates have been led the first week of the season by freshman middle blocker Gemma Stoll (Ventura), sophomore libero Delaney Fautt (Rio Mesa) and freshman outside hitter Inga McManus (Oak Park).
In addition, Candace Sakuda, a forward for the women's basketball team the last two seasons, has made an impact on the front line.
The Ventura College women's soccer team welcomed the No. 2-ranked team in the nation to the VC Sportplex on Wednesday night in style.
Lupita Magana completed a full-field, six-pass move by setting up Yasmin Lepez as the Pirates took the lead against Santiago Canyon in the 26th minute.
"It was an unbelievable goal," Ventura coach Steve Hoffman said. "We shredded them."
Ventura, ranked No. 8 in this week's national coaches poll, still led with 18 minutes to play before a pair of defensive mistakes allowed Santiago Canyon to prevail, 2-1.
Disappointed by the result, Hoffman was left optimistic by his team's play.
"We've really never competed with Santiago Canyon before," said Hoffman, whose team fell 5-0 on the road to the eventual state finalist last season. "Usually, it's one of those games where you say 'They're better than us.' This year, either we're better or we played really well.
"We beat ourselves with two bad mistakes, but when you look at the big picture, this team passes the ball really well. They've been really moving the ball."
Hoffman has been especially impressed by the play of Magana, the freshman from Santa Paula High, who has two goals and two assists in her first four matches.
"She's special," Hoffman said.
There were more than two game-winning plays in the Ventura College football team's 28-27 upset of Riverside Saturday night at the VC Sportsplex.
Before quarterback Ebahn Feathers' stepped into a blitzing linebacker to deliver the game-winning points to receiver Dylan McDaniel and safety Matt Arve pulled down the game-clinching interception, Christopher Mack, Joe Mendoza and P.J. Gremaud ensured the game was still in doubt in that final minute.
"You never know when your play can make the difference," Ventura coach Steve Mooshagian said. "There are five or six key plays in a game and you never really know when they'll happen."
Before its game-winning 10-play, 91-yard drive, Ventura had two early chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The first ended at the Riverside 25-yard line, when cornerback Tray Hall stepped in front of a Feathers' pass in the flat and appeared set to give the Tigers a 10-point lead with an interception return for a touchdown.
But Mack, a freshman receiver, and Feathers raced back to halt the return on the Ventura 12.
"That effort was amazing," Mooshagian said. "The game is over if they don't make the tackle."
The hustle paid off six plays later, when Gremaud, the sophomore linebacker from St. Bonaventure High, stuffed EJ Schexnayder's third-and-goal carry from the Ventura 2 and forced a chip-shot field goal, keeping Ventura within 27-21.
"We practice a lot of those situations throughout camp," Mooshagian said. "Our kids rose to the occasion."
The game was still tied after Ventura, using an offensive package installed for a rainy day just four days prior, marched 91 yards on eight straight completions by Feathers and scored using on-the-fly adjustment drawn up on the sidelines.
Holder Joe Mendoza, a sophomore from Ventura High, had to control a tricky, low snap to get the ball down for Carlos Luna's game-winning extra point.
"That was huge," Mooshagian said. "He pulled it up off the ground."
The Moorpark College football team certainly stuck with a formula to open the season with a 23-20 overtime win Saturday night in Costa Mesa.
The conservative Raiders ran the ball 57 times, held possession for nearly 39 minutes and allowed their playmaking defense (four interceptions) and clutch kicker to make the difference.
"We really feel like we've got an opportunity to control the ball and control the line of scrimmage," Moorpark coach Will Thurston said. "Running the football is something we want to emphasize."
Moorpark put together scoring drives of 12, 11 and 11 plays in the first 35 minutes.
"That consumed a lot of time on the clock and it keeps your defense fresh," Thurston said.
Making his first start since he was a Westlake High senior in 2008, quarterback Ben Conlin played took every snap, completing 16 of 28 passes for 166 yards, one TD and one interception.
Beyond taking a couple sacks, Thurston was happy with Conlin's performance.
"Saying he's a little rusty, that's obvious," Thurston said. "But he'll improve. He's a good find for us."
MOVING ON UP
Upsetting one of the biggest programs in the country had the anticipated affect on Ventura's rankings.
The Pirates (1-0) rocked up the polls this week, rising to No. 3 in Southern California, No. 8 in the state and No. 13 in the JC Grid-wire/JCFootball.com national poll, one spot ahead of Riverside.
Mount San Antonio (1-0), San Francisco (1-0) and East Mississippi (1-0) top the three rankings, respectively. Mount SAC and CCSF, which met in last year's state title game, are No. 2 and No. 3 in the national poll. American River, coached by Ventura High and Ventura College alumni Jerry Haflich, is No. 3 in the North and No. 4 in the state.
With its overtime win, Moorpark (1-0) rose three spots to No. 16 in the regional poll ahead of Saturday's home opener against No. 15 Citrus (1-0).
Local products dominate the SCFA Northern Conference honors this week.
Ventura safety Matt Arve was SCFA Defensive Player of the Week. The Buena High product, and transfer from Santa Barbara City, had nine tackles, a fumble recovery and the game-clinching interception in the Pirates' 28-27 win over Riverside.
"He's a great example of perseverance, Mooshagian said. "The guy never misses a day. ... He's undersized, but very smart and always where he's supposed to be."
Moorpark College placekicker Derek Kirk was named Special Teams Player of the Week. The St. Bonaventure High product converted field goals of 24, 25, 48 yards, including the overtime game-winner in the Raiders' 23-20 win at Orange Coast.
"We have an excellent placekicker," Thurston said. "Derek is very capable of keeping us in a ballgame."
Curley will update from live events and also interject with periodic comment on both international soccer and the local Ventura County Fusion.