By Derry Eads Monday, October 29, 2007
In a seven-year stretch from 1992 to 1998, the Panthers won five Marmonte titles and advanced to two CIF finals, winning a championship in 1993 with a 14-0 record.
It is not a given that Newbury Park will reach that goal.
The Panthers close out the season against 2006 Northern Division runner-up Moorpark and Thousand Oaks, which are tied for third with Agoura. Westlake, which has won three straight games since a 27-13 loss to Newbury Park, sits alone in second place.
Newbury Park is the only league team to have clinched a postseason appearance. With two weeks left, five teams are in the hunt for the other three available playoff qualifying spots.
The Star's rankings
1. St. Bonaventure (7-1) Comment: QB Casey Serna is coming off best game of career.
Next game: Friday at San Marcos.
2. Newbury Park (8-0)
Comment: Newbury Park has scored 26 or more points in 6 straight games.
Next game: Friday vs. Moorpark.
3. Oxnard (6-2)
Comment: Return of RB Sam McCowan makes Oxnard that much stronger.
Next game: Friday at Oxnard.
4. Camarillo (6-2)
Comment: Defense has allowed only 92 yards rushing over last 3 games.
Next game: Friday at Oxnard.
5. Westlake (5-3)
Comment: Jordan Mannisto is tied for second on county's career FG list.
Next game: Friday vs. Agoura.
6. Moorpark (5-3)
Comment: RB Austin Edmonson has averaged 127 yards rushing over last 6 games.
Next game: Friday at Newbury Park.
7. Nordhoff (5-2-1)
Comment: Rangers won last two games by three points.
Next game: Friday vs. Oaks Christian.
8. Oak Park (5-3)
Comment: Three losses were by total of 13 points.
Next game: Friday vs. Santa Paula.
9. Thousand Oaks (4-4)
Comment: Lancers have not had turnover in last two games.
Next game: Friday vs. Simi Valley.
10. Oaks Christian (5-3)
Comment: Defense came up with four turnovers last week.
Next game: Friday at Nordhoff.
Friday, November 2, 2007
This will not be a record-setting season for the Deuce.
Finishing first in the newspaper division for a publication located at 550 Camarillo Center Drive in Camarillo has qualified him for the postseason.
As you can see, the Deuce has lowered his performance bar somewhat from past seasons.
Hey. It happens. Too many transfers of projected wins to the loss column.
Where's the CIF when you need help to void those darn transfers?
Oh, sure, the Deuce knows that the regular season doesn't end until Nov. 9. But he's very much aware that in each of the area's five leagues, teams can clinch shares of championships.
St. Bonaventure is one win away from its sixth straight Channel League title. Same goes for Newbury Park, which has not won a Marmonte League title since 1998. In one of the best small schools leagues in Southern California, Nordhoff can emerge as the Tri-Valley League champion, giving head coach Cliff Farrar his ninth league title.
After last Friday's dramatic win over Bishop Diego, Santa Clara can seal the deal on the Frontier League championship against Fillmore.
Last week: 10-4. Season: 86-41, .677
Newbury Park 34, Moorpark 27: Moorpark has won five of the last six games in this series. Stopping Newbury Park RB Chris Brown, who averages 189 yards rushing in Marmonte League games, will be Moorpark's prime assignment.
Westlake 33, Agoura 27: This series has seen some wild and crazy moments in the last three years. Expect the unexpected. Don't leave until the last lateral.
Thousand Oaks 29, Simi Valley 23: Could this be another cliffhanger for Thousand Oaks, which has seen the last two games decided by three points? Simi Valley's chances of qualifying for playoffs for first time in 15 years hangs on this game.
Royal 27, Calabasas 13: Four straight Marmonte losses by 10 points or less for Royal. Calabasas looking to break out of offensive slump.
Ventura 30, Santa Barbara 24: After 0-6 start, Ventura is making mad dash to close out regular season with four straight wins and second place Channel League finish. Santa Barbara hasn't been the same since quadruple overtime game with Buena.
Buena 24, Dos Pueblos 20: Buena RBs Michael Davis and Vince McCowan are too much for the Dos Pueblos defense.
St. Bonaventure 30, San Marcos 16: The Deuce keeps hearing that LB Ryan Panapa and an offensive linemen are about to come off St. Bonaventure's injury list. That will make the Seraphs a bigger threat in the postseason.
Oxnard 20, Camarillo 14: Both defenses have excelled. Key to this game is how well Camarillo's defense can nullify the surge of the Oxnard offensive line.
Rio Mesa 20, Channel Islands 10: After dropping first two league games, Rio Mesa has an outside chance of third place. Marco Estrada scored twice for CI last week.
Pacifica 24, Hueneme 14: Hueneme would like nothing better to delay Pacifica's postseason dreams.
Santa Clara at Fillmore: A defensive stop inside the five helped Fillmore beat Santa Clara last year. Santa Clara could make a case for one of the Mid-Valley Division's top three seeds with a victory.
Nordhoff 23, Oaks Christian 17: This would be quite a coup for Nordhoff to beat Oak Park and Oaks Christian in back-to-back weeks. Woe is the likely first-place team Oaks Christian would draw in the first round of the playoffs if it doesn't win this game.
Carpinteria 17, Grace Brethren 10: Grace Brethren's vaunted passing game hit a road block last week. You can be sure that Carpinteria has studied those tapes diligently.
Oak Park 24, Santa Paula 12: Oak Park needs to win last two games to have a shot at a good postseason draw. Santa Paula needs big games from Martin Ramirez and Quinn Pawlick.
Malibu 23, Villanova 17: As Villanova took a break last week, Malibu won the second league game in its history. Now it has a chance to win back-to-back games and make a push for the playoffs.
— The Deuce can be reached at deads@VenturaCountyStar.com.
By Loren Ledin Saturday, November 3, 2007
Even when your stalwart running back explodes for a season-best outing, nothing comes easy in the Marmonte League.John Lister rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns, and caught two passes for 87 yards and two more scores, but the Thousand Oaks High football team still had to sweat out the finish Friday night.
Simi Valley's last-gasp drive and chance for a possible game-tying score reached the 30-yard line before the Lancers defense dug in and preserved a 35-27 victory at Thousand Oaks High."You know what? We just need to learn how to finish," said Lister. "But it really was a team effort tonight. (Quarterback) Ian (Shultis) played great. The O-line was terrific and the defense came through at the end."We're there. We're so close to playing our best football."
Thousand Oaks improved to 4-2 in league (5-4 overall) and remained in the thick of the playoff chase heading into next week's regular-season finale against Newbury Park.
Simi Valley, despite 171 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Langston Jackson and 211 passing yards from Jared Zahorik, saw its playoff hopes end at 2-4 (4-5 overall).
"We just made too many mistakes," said Simi Valley coach Todd Borowski. "We're trying to turn the program around, and I think we're moving in the right direction. We just make mistakes at the worse possible times."
Lister started out hot on Thousand Oaks' very first series by catching a short pass from Shultis and zipping 75-yard for the game's first score.By halftime, he added a 12-yard catch-and-run from Shultis and a 2-yard scoring run as Thousand Oaks built a 21-7 lead by intermission. Lister rushed for touchdowns of 46 and 25 yards as the Lancers stretched the advantage to 35-14 with 2:13 left in the third period. Still, it almost wasn't enough.
Simi Valley edged close on Jackson's 42-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds left in the third period.
Zahorik closed out an eight-play, 44-yard drive by hitting Keith Williams for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 6:31 left in the game.Thousand Oaks tried to grind down the clock, and even had Lister run for a first down out of punt formation. Still, with 2:45 remaining, Simi Valley took possession at its 9-yard line. Fifteen plays later, the Pioneers marched to the Thousand Oaks 39-yard line, facing a fourth-and-11. Zahorik, under pressure, was sacked by Dereck Jester and fumbled the ball. Simi Valley lineman Shawn Morrison recovered and reached the 30-yard line, but was two yards shy on fourth down.Thousand Oaks defensive back Evan Yabu said his team managed to focus on the task at hand."You've got to stay calm and just make plays," he said. "We're were able to do that in the end."
Thousand Oaks 35, Simi Valley 27: John Lister scored five touchdowns for Thousand Oaks, which got a major defensive stop in the final minute to preserve the win.
Thousand Oaks stopped Simi Valley on downs at the 30-yard line to give the Lancers the victory.
Lister put thousand Oaks (5-4, 4-2) ahead on its first series on a 75-yard scoring pass. Lister, who rushed for 210 yards on 25 carries, also caught a 12-yard scoring pass and had touchdown runs of 2, 46, and 25 yards.
Shultis completed 8 of 17 passes for 193 yards with two touchdowns and was intercepted once.
Langston Jackson finished with 174 yards rushing on 25 carries and three touchdowns for Simi Valley (4-5,2-4).
Lister's 25- yard-touchdown with 2:14 left third quarter put the Lancers ahead 35-14. But each time it appeared the Lancers had some breathing room, Simi Valley roared back. Langston Jackson's 42-yard touchdown run and Jared Zahorik's 10-yard touchdown pass to Keith Williams midway through the fourth quarter brought Simi Valley to within a touchdown, but the Thousand Oaks defense took over from there.
- Greg Meade