Toads squash Wildcats behind
7 Caldwell TDs
by Jesse Phelps
Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. That was the story Saturday afternoon
at Villanova School, as the Villanova Wildcats welcomed the Thacher
Toads in Ojai's first bragging rights game in Heritage League
Under a hot sun that might have seemed a spotlight or a flashbulb,
Thacher's Tyler Caldwell gave a large, mostly pro-Villanova crowd
something to remember, scoring seven touchdowns to lead the Toads
to a 56-27 thrashing of their hosts.
This is the first year Thacher School (5-0) has fielded a football
team in recent memory, and the Wildcats are starting fresh in
a different way, having graduated a host of seniors from last
year's dominant squad, the first in Villanova's storied athletic
history. On this day, Thacher was clearly the superior squad.
The opening play of the game was a harbinger of things to come
as Caldwell received Villanova's kick deep in his own zone, eluded
a couple of tackles and broke up the southern sideline 70 yards
for his first score.
On the last play of the half, Caldwell provided the bookend.
Under pressure in the pocket, Villanova quarterback Andy Lory
threw to the sideline, where Caldwell was lurking in wait. He
broke in front of the intended receiver for the pick and sprinted
to the end zone as time expired. He'd just scored his sixth touchdown
of the first half. A 40-yard touchdown reception and several
long runs added to Caldwell's return yardage gave him more than
200 all-purpose yards to that point.
"I just wish he wasn't a senior," said Thacher coach
Jeff Hooper. "He's fun to coach."
But Caldwell wasn't quite finished. The prettiest play of the
day came in the third quarter as Thacher quarterback Brenton
Sullivan lofted a rainbow to the back of the end zone, where
Caldwell stretched out and, dragging both feet inches in front
of the line, hauled in the reception for his seventh and final
score of the day.
Villanova coach John Muller said, "I thought we had a good
game plan for him, but nine times out of 10, he's going to beat
you. We got better today, and it was good to play a well-coached
team because it makes us better."
Villanova was led by Lory, Chris Gerhart, Nate Langelier and
Female sophomore kicker Krista Krakowski kicked Villanova's final
extra point to end the day on a high note.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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TOAD TYLER CALDWELL STRUGGLES with an opponent during the Thacher-Villanova
football showdown. It was the first time the two schools had
played football against each another.