Danny Page and I had Tyler Ebell in studio during Thursday night's VC Football Show on KVTA 1520 AM Ventura and HomefieldSports.com.
The former Ventura High, UCLA, and Texas-El Paso star currently plays for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.
He crossed the boarder and returned home this weekend because his No. 2 Ventura High jersey was retired at halftime of the Ventura-St. Bonaventure game at Larrabee Stadium
Sometimes where you start has a whole lot to do with where you end up. Which is another way of saying It would be hard to overstate the significance of field position in Newbury Park's 32-30 win over Agoura on Friday night.
It wasn't just that all five Newbury Park scoring drives were 59 yards or less. Overall, the Panthers' average starting position was their own 42 -- their own 46 in the first half -- while Agoura's average start was at its 24 in the first half and 26 overall.
You can win a lot of races with a 20-yard head start.
"That means the defense did its job," said Newbury Park coach Gary Fabricius. "People are going to look at 32-30 and think it there wasn't defense, but our guys made some big plays at some big times."
It also helps explain why Newbury Park led from start to finish even though Agoura finished with more yards, 347 to the Panthers' 281.
The field-position issue was particularly tough for Agoura with sophomore Gerrard Poutier making his first varsity start at quarterback. Poutier showed a lot of poise in his baptism by fire, completing his final seven passes as part of a 15-for-24 night, but when the Chargers started at their 6, 33, 18 and 6 in a four-possession stretch in the second and third quarters, they were obviously working from a drastically shortened playbook.
Poutier started because senior Justin Arias is still recovering from a concussion suffered against Simi Valley, but the Chargers did everything they could not to tip their hand. Arias dressed out and warmed up, but one week after sustaining that concussion, he was never going to play. Coach Charlie Wegher was simply trying not to tip his hand about the QB change any sooner than he absolutely had to.
Fillmore's Jessie Sanchez returned a fumble 61 yards before Malibu tacked on two late scores as the Flashes triumphed 49-29.
Looking for its first outright league title in 31 years, Fillmore (7-1)
improves to 2-0 going into next week's revival of its rivalry with
The Fillmore High football team is making its move in the Frontier League.
The Flashes combined the first two stops of the game with two quick
strikes to take a dominant 42-17 lead in the third quarter at Malibu
One play after Malibu botched the first punt, Nathan Ibarra hit Noah Aguirre with a 40-yard scoring strike.
One play after Jessie Sanchez intercepted the first turnover of the
game, Zac Golson, subbing for injured star Troy Hayes, scored on a
After the first successful punt of the game, Nick Paz capped an
eight-play, 73-yard drive from two yards to give the Flashes a dominant
42-17 lead after three quarters.
Fillmore leads Malibu in their Frontier League showdown despite being without one of its most influential players.
Starting wingback and cornerback Troy Hayes is not playing.
He had 707 yards rushing and 10 TDs when he suffered a leg injury last week.
After TDs on the first five possessions of the game, Malibu is held to
Jonny Palmer's 25-yard field goal as the first half expires to give
Fillmore a 21-17 edge in the Frontier League showdown.
Malibu converted a third down and a fourth down to keep the late 14-play drive alive.
Conrad actually broke a 52-yard touchdown that was called back for a holding penalty.
Instead, the Sharks' Great White has 193 yards and two scores on 14
carries at the half, but Fillmore has limited the workhorse to 17 yards
on his final five carries of the half.
In a big Marmonte League showdown, Royal beat Agoura 6-4 at home behind
three goals from Lawrence Bardelli. Goaltender Felipe Tejero tallied 14
saves. Royal moves to 15-10 overall, 7-1 in Marmonte League play.
Man, long, explosive and powerful, Malibu High's Sean Conrad is some running back.
The senior converts two third downs before galloping from 15 yards out to even the Frontier League showdown with Fillmore with 2:42 left in the first quarter.
Conrad ran seven times for 83 yards on the Sharks' first offensive possession.
The Fillmore High football team took the opening kickoff and drove 79 yards on 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead in the Frontier League showdown at undefeated Malibu High Friday night.
Ralph Sandoval swept in from 5 yards out with 6:14 left in the first quarter.
The score was set up by Nathan Ibarra's 23-yard pass to tight end Anthony Cortez on third and 10
The sun is melting into the Pacific Ocean seemingly miles off Zuma Beach here in Malibu, where the Fillmore High and Malibu High football teams play perhaps their biggest football game in decades.
Fillmore (6-1), led by RB Troy Hayes (58 att., 707 yards, 8 TDs) and QB Nathan Ibarra (15 TDs running and passing), is searching for its first outright league title since 1977.
Featuring tailback Sean Conrad and coming off a monumental 51-50 victory over Grace Brethren, Malibu (6-0) is off to its best start in school history. It's previous best start was 2-0.
Conrad has rushed for 1,490 yards and 16 touchdowns on 158 attempts.
The Moorpark High girls' tennis team knows the pain of losing in a calculated manner repeatedly.
The Musketeers lost to Marmonte League-leader Calabasas in games yesterday for the second time this week after the teams tied 9-9 in sets.
Moorpark is now 10-6 overall, and five of its six losses have been in games - to Calabasas twice, La Reina, Rio Mesa and Westlake.
The Moorpark coaches might consider bringing a defibrillator to their matches along with their calculator.
The Westlake High boys' water polo team suspended six players for two Marmonte League games for "disciplinary reasons," according to head coach Todd Irmas.
The players missed Westlake's matches against Agoura (a loss) and Calabasas (a win). They were replaced in the lineup by JV players.
Irmas refused to disclose the exact nature of why the players were suspended, but says they have returned to the team.
"There is a lot out in the public and the public seems to have a lot of ideas about what happened," Irmas said. "But it's a personal issue with these guys and it has been dealt with by the school and myself."
It's not been the easiest of seasons for the Warriors. One senior starter quit the team and Irmas' son Cameron, a junior starter, ruptured his ear drum against Moorpark and could be out for the rest of the season.
Keith Williams' third TD catch of the night gives winless Simi Valley a 34-24 lead over visiting Agoura with 9:53 to play.
The Agoura High football took a 10-point lead on Kyle Dungandzic's 29-yard field goal and Arias' 35-yard scoring strike to Bryce Majdick, but Simi Valley fought back to take a 20-16 halftime lead on Jared Zahorik's 24-yard scoring strike to Keith Williams and Tim Ferralli's 5-yard touchdown pass to Brent Keys.
Three different Pioneers have taken snaps at quarterback. Agoura QB Justin Arias completed 12 of his first 14 passes for 274 yards and a TD.
Lucky Radley, who has nearly 600 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns in five games, is in uniform, but has yet to take the field offensively.
The Simi Valley football team unveiled a version of the "Wild Hog" or "Wildcat" offense featuring running back Clabe Via Friday night against Agoura.
With Via keeping the direct snap for 36 yards on seven carries, the Pioneers used the system to march 62 yards in 17 plays to tie the game 6-6 on Via's 2-yard touchdown run.
The Agoura High football team needed one play to jump ahead at Simi Valley, 6-0.
Kevin Hansen took Justin Arias' screen pass and ran 80 yards untouched for a touchdown 18 seconds into the game.
As I predicted Thursday night on the VC Football Show, Newbury Park High senior Chris Brown will return tonight at Westlake, reported HomefieldSports.com's Sam Ireifej on the pregame show on KVTA 1520 AM tonight.
Newbury Park High coach Gary Fabricius told Ireifej that running back Cameron Roberson, who has rushed for 612 yard in five games, will remain at tailback for the Panthers.
Brown, who hasn't played since suffering a back injury in the opening game of the season at Camarillo, will line up in the slot and not see many snaps on defense, where he is a standout cornerback.
Brown has committed to play at Utah next season.
The Star's prep columnist Derry Eads explains this week's picks today on KVTA 1520 AM Ventura and Homefieldsports.com:
Blame the doctor.
The pediatrician of Westlake High kicker Stephen Murphy will take responsibility for Murphy's kick against Agoura two weeks ago being too straight.
You may recall the latest controversial play involving Westlake and Agoura came when Murphy's 41-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining was called no good in a 23-22 loss.
But once the Westlake coaches went back and looked at the tape, they discovered the ball actually hit the middle gooseneck bar that supports the crossbar and bounced back onto the field, meaning it should have counted.
Dr. Kenneth Saul, Murphy's pediatrician, had Murphy into the office that following Sunday for a checkup and heard the entire story.
"His aim was too good and I told him it was my fault because if I would have maybe turned him cock-eyed when he was born or twisted him a little bit maybe he would have been a little lopsided and kicked a foot to the left or a foot to the right," Saul said. "He would have made the kick without question."
Santa Clara's Cierre Wood's five-touchdown performance in Friday night's 50-8 win over Kilpatrick marked the 18th time in the Notre Dame-bound senior tailback's career that he has found the end zone three times or more in a game. For his career, Wood has 88 touchdowns and 564 points. He is 35 points away from passing Darrell Scott for fourth place on the Ventura County career scoring list
LONG BEACH - St. Bonaventure came up just a few yards short of pulling off the upset as Long Beach Poly batted down a fourth-down pass in the end zone to hold on for a 12-7 victory tonight.
Logan Meyer tried to connect with Drew Gibson, but the pass fell incomplete.
The Newbury Park High football is protecting a late 23-21 lead the best way possible.
Phillip Muscarella's 10-yard catch and Jake Geringer's 2-yard quarterback sneak converted third downs as Newbury Park is attempting to keep the ball for the final 5:27 to earn its first Marmonte League win of the season.
Newbury Park has yet another third down on the Royal 38 with 1:44 to play.
Geringer's bootleg only picked up 1 yard, making it fourth and 8 with 54 seconds left.
On his 16th birthday, Newbury Park High junior Philip Muscarella has had quite a first half for the Panthers.
Muscarella reeled in a 70-yard touchdown pass from Jake Geringer to tie Royal, 7-7, with 2:42 left in the first quarter.
On the next possession, he caught a 29-yard pass, giving him 99 yards receiving in the first quarter.
Muscarella also gave Newbury Park a 9-7 halftime lead by kicking a 36-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half.
LONG BEACH - Long Beach Poly stretched its lead to 12-7 on a 30-yard field goal by David Skara with 3:49 remaining in the game.
Skara was slated for a 25-yard attempt, but a delay of game penalty pushed him back five yards.
But St. Bonaventure's Nolan Rodarte just made an amazing kick return to the Poly 35-yard line. Rodarte was bouncing off defenders like a pinball and managed to stay on his feet and weave his way up the field to put Bonaventure in great field position.
LONG BEACH - St. Bonaventure's Patrick Hall had his punt blocked in the end zone by Long Beach Poly's Ryan Willis, which resulted in a safety to put Poly ahead 9-7 with 8:21 remaining in the game.
LONG BEACH - St. Bonaventure's offense has come alive.
The Seraphs have tied the game 7-7 with 1:12 remaining in the third quarter with junior quarterback Logan Meyer hitting older brother Zack Meyer, a senior, with a 17-yard touchdown pass.
St. Bonaventure running back Devon Blackledge triggered the 83-yard drive with a 56-yard run down the left sideline to the 25-yard line before being tackled.
- THE RAP: Word is that Long Beach Poly alum Snoop Dogg is on the Poly sideline. Snoop is a big football fan. He coaches his son's Pop Warner team and is a frequent viewer at USC practices and games.
LONG BEACH - The St. Bonaventure defense came up with its second big fourth-down stop of the night.
The Seraphs stuffed Poly running back Melvin Richardson on a 4th-and-2 at the Bonaventure 17-yard line with 2:36 remaining in the third quarter.
Poly's running game had just started churning out yards in large chunks. Richardson started it by breaking off back-to-back runs of 20 and 25 yards before Daveon Barner joined in with a few long runs.
But Bonaventure made the big stop, is driving and has entered the red zone.
LONG BEACH - The first half played out about as expected - a good defensive battle and lots of running plays.
Poly has outgained St. Bonaventure 128 to 56 in the first half.
One stat that sticks out: St. Bonaventure had no net yardage in the second quarter on seven plays.
Poly quarterback Morgan Fennell is a dangerous run threat himself. On Poly's 61-yard touchdown drive, he scrambled and made a nice stutter step move to elude the Bonaventure defenders and pick up the first down (until a flag nullified a few yards). He was nearly sacked a few plays later, but ducked under the tackle and picked up the first down again.
St. Bonaventure's JB Dock nearly had an interception along the near sideline on Poly's touchdown drive, but was ruled out of bounds while making the catch.
Long Beach Poly punter David Skara is not hard to miss when he kicks. His bright yellow shoes nearly glow in the dark
Highly-touted Long Beach Poly lineman Tepa Iuta sacked St. Bonaventure quarterback Logan Meyer in the second quarter. Iuta has long hair flowing out from under his helmet - picture Troy Polamalu, the former USC star and current Pittsburgh Steeler.
LONG BEACH - Long Beach Poly waited until the very end of the first half to put the first points on the scoreboard in its showdown with St. Bonaventure.
The Jackrabbits executed a perfect fade route to the left corner of the end zone with five seconds remaining in the half as Poly quarterback Morgan Fennell lofted a pass to McKay Stanjarivus.
As he was about to fall out of bounds, Stanjarivus cradled the ball in his arms for an 11-yard touchdown to help Poly take a 7-0 lead heading into halftime.
LONG BEACH - No score at the end of the first quarter here at Veterans Stadium.
Long Beach Poly has the ball on its own 14-yard line and is punting it away.
The Jackrabbits had a chance for a big play a few seconds earlier as Alex Cannon was wide open just past the 50-yard line. But the pass was overthrown by quarterback Morgan Farrell.
LONG BEACH - St. Bonaventure was driving, but Logan Meyer's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Poly's Darius Williams-Fox after Meyer had evaded a sack in the backfield.
Wiliams-Fox was ruled down at the 1-yard line with just more than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
LONG BEACH - The St. Bonaventure defense came up with a big stop in the first quarter by thwarting a Long Beach Poly quarterback sneak attempt on 4th and 1 from the St. Bonaventure 48-yard line with 6:45 to go.
On its first play from scrimmage to start the game, St. Bonaventure quarterback Logan Meyer completed a 50-yard pass to Noah Rodarte, but the Bonaventure offense stalled at the 50-yard line and had to punt the ball away.
LONG BEACH - Scheduling games can be as simple as eating fruit.
That's how this big game tonight between Long Beach Poly and St. Bonaventure came to fruition.
The coaching staffs were down at the Home Depot Center last year for a breakfast meeting before the bowl games, and St. Bonaventure baseball coach Raul Camacho was picking at the fruit platter when a Long Beach Poly football assistant approached and asked if they had any open games.
Camacho said they had an opening, and by later that afternoon the head coaches and other administrators met and a handshake deal was done.
"We were joking earlier about getting Poly for our opening," Camacho said. "But we didn't think there was really a chance."
Quick hits -
- The Poly band is very, very impressive. They have nearly every instrument imaginable and seven players for each one.
- The Nike van and booth is only going to 10 high school games this season. It has been to Dominguez, De La Salle and Mission Viejo already. The closest it will get to Ventura County is Hart High in Santa Clarita on Oct. 24. It's part of the 5D2F Tour - 5 Days 2 Friday
LONG BEACH - Big-time scene befitting of a big-time game here at Veterans Stadium.
St. Bonaventure and Long Beach Poly are on the field warming up and both teams are amped. Poly is swaying in a huddle and chanting near the 40-yard line with 45 minutes to go before kickoff.
Nike has set up a booth allowing you to design your own shoe or an I.D. The U.S. Army has its video game truck and is giving away little trinkets. A few of the players taking part in Army's All-American game will be featured on the field tonight.
I am sure the St. Bonaventure fans loved receiving a "Go Poly Jackrabbits" mini-banner to unfurl as they walked in the gate.
St. Bonaventure has always espoused the Fresno State model of football scheduling - anybody, anytime,anywhere.
It's how the small school power established its worth.
It's how the Seraphs got people to take notice.
It's how they got skeptics to finally take them seriously.
"Play anyone, anywhere and play the best," St. Bonaventure head coach Todd Therrien said. "It's something Coach (Jon) Mack started and we are trying to continue."
St. Bonaventure has already played Jordan and Crespi this season, and faces its biggest test tonight against Long Beach Poly at 7 at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.
"It should prepare us for the big games in the playoffs," Therrien said. "And not only is this a big game with a big opponent, but it prepares us for a road trip."
Long Beach Poly head football coach Raul Lara feels like he's looking in a mirror while watching film of St. Bonaventure.
The two programs meet in a highly-anticipated matchup tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.
"I feel like I am watching ourselves," Lara said by phone this afternoon. "They have great running backs. We have great running backs. They have a great defense. We have a great defense. Their offensive schemes are almost as close as our offensive schemes. Their defense is in a 40 and we are in a 40. They have a rich tradition and we have a rich tradition."
But the two programs differ on their view of the game - at least publicly.
Lara said, "It's a huge game. A big challenge for us."
St. Bonaventure head coach Todd Therrien said, "Non-league week five. It's not that big of a game for us. Every game is a big game for us. We are not doing anything special to prepare. We are doing what we do."
We're working on a table of contents that will give readers, as we grow
Preps Plus, the ability to call up only posts from the sports, league
or school about which they care. More to come.
Wow, talk about much ado about nothing.
All the discussion of the final field goal in last week's
Westlake-Agoura football game -- the 41-yard attempt by Stephen Murphy
that hit the crossbar (or so we thought at the time) and bounced out --
makes for interesting, and perhaps heated, conversation. But it really
doesn't amount to much, even though Westlake has video showing the ball
cleared the crossbar but bounced off the gooseneck -- the spot where
the pole from ground to crossbar turns and meets the crossbar -- and
As the individual covering the game, this came as a huge surprise
to me; watching from the sidelines, I would have sworn the kick hit the
upright and bounced up and away.
"That's what I thought, too," said Westlake coach Jim Benkert. "One
of our coaches came back and said it was good, that it had hit the
gooseneck (the part of the upright holding the crossbars in place) and
bounced back. I was talking to people after the game, so I didn't think
much of it."
But when Benkert looked at video from an end-zone camera the next day, he discovered the ball had indeed hit the gooseneck.
Which, of course, hardly matters. The result is going to stand --
in exactly the same way the result stood when Westlake had that
multiple-lateral kickoff return to beat Agoura a couple years ago, even
though video strongly suggested the play should have been blown dead.
I talked to Westlake coach Jim Benkert about this today, and he understands this completely.
"It doesn't change anything," said Benkert. "I'm not taking anything
away from Agoura, or protesting the game or anything like that. I'm
just stating a fact, that it hit the gooseneck and bounced out, and
that it's a million-to-one shot."
I received an e-mail from an unhappy Agoura fan saying the kick
shouldn't have counted even if it did hit the gooseneck, quoting a
Wikipedia entry on football rules reading "Three points are scored if
the ball crosses between the two upright posts and above the crossbar
and remains over."
But there's no need to split those hairs. It doesn't matter if the
kick should have counted or shouldn't. It didn't, and it's not going
to. It may be interesting to talk about this sort of thing -- in the
same way people discussed that kickoff play in that other
Westlake-Agoura game -- but it doesn't mean anything. As Benkert said,
it's just another call you talk about after a game that can't be
And, as Benkert said at the time, that kick wasn't where his team
lost the game. There were any number of other plays throughout the game
that could have changed the result; Agoura won because it made more of
Everyone is wondering why Friday night's game between football
powerhouses Long Beach Poly and St. Bonaventure is not being televised.
It's because Long Beach Poly wants it that way.
Sports asked the CIF-Southern Section if it could televise the game for
its "Game of the Week," but Long Beach Poly declined.
the CIF-SS gets a request to televise a game of one of its member
schools, it leaves the decision up to the host school.
spokesperson Thom Simmons said two concerns expressed by Poly were
losing out on gate receipts and the length of the game with prolonged
Televised games make some people stay home instead
of spending their discretionary income on gas and tickets, especially
in these turbulent economic times.
St. Bonaventure coach Todd
Therrien said last night at practice that Poly and St. Bonaventure are
splitting the gate receipts from Friday's game.
So Ventura County fans will have to fight the Friday traffic and buy a ticket if they want to watch.
Or else they can stay home and watch Diamond Ranch at Bishop Amat in FSN's "Game of the Week."
Loren Ledin recaps the Thousand Oaks High football team's 35-7 win over
Simi Valley on HomeFieldSports.com's Friday Football Final on KVTA AM
The wild fourth quarter of Friday's Westlake-Agoura game illustrated two points extremely well: The significance of special teams, and how many plays you can squeeze into a single period with a passing game.
The special-teams part is fairly obvious. There were four huge plays in the kicking game in the fourth quarter: The blocked punt that went for a safety to give Westlake a 15-14 lead, the field goal that put Agoura in front 17-16, the 61-yard kickoff return (by Justin Lilley, who also blocked the punt) return to set up the touchdown that put Westlake back in front at 22-17, and the Stephen Murphy field goal at the end that hit the crossbar and bounced out.
As for the other part, consider that the teams ran 48 plays in the fourth quarter -- that's one every 15 seconds. Which mostly shows how many ways there are to stop a clock. Between eight first downs, eight penalties, 11 incompletions (on 22 pass attempts), four scoring plays, four other changes of possession, and six timeouts, there were a lot of ways to squeeze extra plays into a 12-minute quarter. Oh, and Agoura's no-huddle offense obviously helped, too.
The Calabasas High girls' tennis team finally lost a Marmonte League match.
Coyotes had their Marmonte-winning streak snapped at 86 matches on
Thursday by losing to Thousand Oaks 77-67 in games after the teams tied
9-9 in sets.
Calabasas (2-3, 2-1) hadn't lost a match since entering the Marmonte League in 2002.
Oaks (3-3, 3-1) used the strength of its doubles to beat the Coyotes.
The Lancers won six doubles matches, led by a sweep from Hilary Koenig
and Kathryn Stueckle.
Calabasas is still playing without its top singles player Sabrina Man-Son-Hing, who is dealing with a family illness.