Carp crushes 1-3 Rangers
by Jesse Phelps
A young Nordhoff varsity football team got to measure itself
against the best in its division Friday night and discovered
it still has some work to do. A week after dismantling Santa
Ynez 37-0, the Carpinteria Warriors used a 21-point third quarter
to break open a close game at Carpinteria Memorial Stadium Friday
night, reasserting themselves as this year's favorite in the
The Warriors (4-0) looked like the No. 1 rated team in Division
11, jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead with 6:23 left in the first
quarter. A 50-yard interception return for a touchdown followed
quickly by a 40-yard touchdown reception had the Rangers (1-3)
on their heels. But not for long. On Carp's third possession,
Nordhoff's defense stiffened, forcing a fumble, which Carp regained,
only to be stuffed in the backfield on the ensuing play. Forced
to punt, the Warriors were able to down the ball inside the three-yard
line, typical of the poor field position with which Nordhoff
was faced for much of the night.
A 33-yard catch by Darren Smith from Nordhoff quarterback Ryan
Whitcomb helped the Rangers recover. Though the drive stalled
at the Carp 35, the Nordhoff offense looked like it was beginning
to click. Early in the second quarter, the Rangers received a
boost from Sean Baier, who began asserting himself on defense,
getting into the backfield on successive plays to record a sack
and a stop for a loss.
Nordhoff then drove 60 yards for their first score, culminating
in a touchdown run of one yard by Jaymes Quirino with 3:01 left
in the fist half.
On Carp's ensuing possession, Luis Soto scored on a 40-yard run.
But with 2:30 remaining on the clock, Nordhoff was able to answer
when Whitcomb completed a couple of key passes to Jarius Rothermel,
who had five receptions for 60 yards on the night. Two plays
later, the Rangers trimmed the lead to seven with 30 seconds
left in the half on a two-yard score by Will Strong, who rushed
12 times for 39 yards. Behind a solid defensive effort and a
power-running game complemented by some well-executed short passes,
Nordhoff was within 21-14 at the half.
Then came that very tough third quarter. In the end, turnovers
and field position stopped the Rangers. A safety, three interceptions
- two of which were returned for touchdowns - and two lost fumbles
made the difference. Still, the second quarter and the final
drive of the fourth suggest that the future is bright for this
"We never gave up, we played as hard as we could,"
Baier said after the game. "The first few minutes of each
half, they got us. We just weren't able to come back on offense."
Late in the third, Whitcomb, who was nine of 16 passing for 157
yards, was replaced by Andy Bowman at quarterback. To their credit,
the Rangers kept fighting until the end, eating up over seven
minutes on the clock on their final possession, a 70-yard drive
culminating in a two-yard touchdown run from Max Thomas, who
barreled through three Carp defenders with 30 seconds left to
complete the scoring.
The Rangers return home this Friday night for a matchup with
Bishop Diego at 7:30 p.m. The Junior Varsity game begins at 4:30.
Tickets are available at the gate starting at 4 p.m. Prices
are $6 for adults, $3 for NPA members and children under 12.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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