Ranger gridders raid Pirate
by Peter Deneen
Led by sophomore quarterback Ryan Whitcomb and agile junior
back Marty Vogel, the Nordhoff varsity football team beat Santa
Ynez in a possible playoff preview.
Add another episode to the arduous rivalry between powerhouse
Santa Ynez Pirates and our hometown heroes, the Rangers. In a
contest which featured a young and talented varsity squad against
a veteran Pirates team, it was the veterans making the mistakes
Friday night before a full house at Ojai Valley Community Stadium.
Whitcomb commanded the Ranger squad, capitalizing on fundamental
mistakes made by the opposing Pirates.
Amidst a blunder of flying turf, grunts and clashing pads, Ranger
Will Strong muscled his way into the end zone from the two-yard
line to give Nordhoff a 9-0 lead. The lead was trimmed 9-7 when
Santa Ynez scored on a 77-yard run with 7:11 left in the half.
Meanwhile, junior running back Vogel was piling up the yards.
Vogel finished the game with 109 yards in 23 attempts.
"I think we're gonna' destroy 'em," said Vogel midway
through the second quarter.
Nordhoff's defense smothered a late drive by the Pirates near
the end of the first half. Strong finished with 12 tackles to
pace the defense, followed by Josh Catlett and Jairus Rothermel
each with six. Clark Bigler picked up two fumbles by a sloppy
With time running out in the half, Whitcomb looked to the left
for sophomore receiver Andy Doyle who was covered by two Pirate
defenders. As Doyle turned to face Whitcomb he fired an errant
pass. Doyle dove to catch the ball on the 33, setting up a string
Jaymes Quirino teamed up with Whitcomb again to set up a quick
fade to Jairus Rothermel for a touchdown to give the Rangers
a 16-7 lead. Just as it looked as if the Pirates would hang onto
the ball for the remaining minute of the half, the Rangers recovered
the ball with just 54.1 seconds to play.
As the end of the game approached, head coach Cliff Farrar played
it safe and ran the clock.
Nordhoff's offense picked right up where it left off to begin
the second half. Versatile junior Quirino scored a touchdown
and kicked the field goal with 4:33 to play in the third to give
Nordhoff a 23-7 lead. Overall, Quirino completed three for three
from the field and scored a touchdown to lead the offense with
12 points scored.
When asked about starting such a young quarterback, coach Farrar
responded, "Ryan's done a fine job. He's been taking his
'reps' all year and it really showed tonight. He responded well.
We had really good practice all week and I was hoping the boys
would respond and they did. The kids did a nice job tonight."
"It was great," said Whitcomb. "It's a nice change
from last week. We just came out bangin' tonight."
As the Rangers celebrated their 28-14 victory, Vogel strode
by confidently and exclaimed, "I told you so!"
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
Back to sports
Back to the news
ROTHERMEL GET SACKED by a Santa Ynez Pirate during last Friday's
game. Among other things, Rothermel had six tackles, passed for
22 yards and ran a touchdown into the Pirate end zone.