NHS gridder defense shuts
off the Flashes
by Jesse Phelps
This time the Rangers put it away early. A boisterous homecoming
crowd witnessed a dominating performance Friday night at Ojai
Valley Community Stadium as Nordhoff ran away with an impressive
27-7 Tri-Valley League victory over the Fillmore Flashes to reach
.500 on the season.
A stifling defensive effort limited the Flashes (3-3, 1-2) to
six first downs on the evening and a balanced offensive attack
kept the Fillmore defenders on their heels. Nordhoff (3-3, 2-1)
racked up 323 yards of total offense, 199 on the ground.
Sophomore Will Strong carried 25 times for 138 yards and scored
all three touchdowns for Nordhoff, which got an average of 4.6
yards per carry for the night. The Rangers dominated time of
possession, controlling the ball over 15 minutes during the first
half. Seemingly before anyone knew they had arrived at the stadium,
they led 17-0 on two Strong touchdowns and a field goal by Jaymes
Fillmore nabbed its lone touchdown of the evening on the first
possession of the second half. Halfback Tommy McCary took a pitch
from QB Erasmo Maciel and fed wide receiver Tony Edwards for
a 46-yard score. For a moment, it looked like the Flasheses might
make a charge.
But on the ensuing drive, Strong punched it in again from three
yards out after the Rangers converted a series of third-down
plays. Starting quarterback Ryan Whitcomb, who was a perfect
five for five passing, found wideout Andy Doyle for a crucial
first down then scrambled for another. Doyle and Whitcomb connected
three times on the night for 58 yards.
"I've been competing with Ryan since we were in Eagles,"
Doyle said. "We've got the hookup with each other, I suppose."
Another Quirino field goal completed the scoring with 2:27 to
go. In all, the Nordhoff defense sacked Maciel six times, eventually
knocking him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Brad Cattoni
had two sacks and once again Josh Douglas got into the backfield
Douglas described it as a team effort: "It feels great to
get a lot of sacks, really great. I've gotta thank the other
side of the line, too, because they're pressuring the quarterback
to stop right there and make me get the sack."
Nordhoff Coach Cliff Farrar was pleased with his team's preparation
and effort on the field. "Both sides of the ball played
very well tonight," he said. "This was our best week
of practice that we've had all year long and the enthusiasm just
has built. We're starting to jell as a team, guys are starting
to find their roles and we're doing some good things."
Nordhoff is away at Oak Park this Friday and will return for
their next home game Nov. 8 against Oaks Christian for Senior
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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STRONG FIGHTS OFF a horde of Fillmore defenders in Friday's homecoming
game. Strong scored all three Ranger touchdowns.