Rangers lose game, Quirino
by Jesse Phelps
The Nordhoff varsity football team lost more than a game on
Friday night. The disappointment of a 20-8 Tri-Valley League
defeat at the hands of the Oak Park Eagles was compounded by
a first quarter injury to the team's leading scorer, kicker and
running back, Jaymes Quirino.
"He's out for the rest of the season, looks like,"
said Nordhoff head coach Cliff Farrar, who described the injury
on Monday afternoon as a "twisted knee" and acknowledged
the important role he has played on this year's team. "We
don't replace Quirino on field goals," he said.
The bad news came just days after the team received its first
unexpected loss of the week. Starting noseguard Alex Garcia suffered
a broken leg at practice Wednesday and then several members of
the team took ill in the days leading up to the game. "Our
defensive line, two of the three starters didn't play to start
with, so that hurt us a little bit," explained Farrar.
Mike Christensen led Oak Park (4-3, 2-1), running 23 times for
129 yards. Senior quarterback Pete Burns completed nine of 15
passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns to help the Eagles
build a 20-0 lead they never relinquished. Several Ranger penetrations
into the Oak Park red zone were negated by miscues throughout
the first three quarters.
Farrar admitted Nordhoff (3-4, 2-2) missed some golden opportunities.
"We had third and one and we had somebody jump offsides,
we had third down and eight and a pass completion and we had
a hold. Just little things in the first half that just killed
Ranger sophomore running back Will Strong eclipsed the 100-yard
plateau on the ground for the third straight game. His 21 carries
netted 101 yards and he hooked up with quarterback Ryan Whitcomb
on Nordhoff's longest pass play of the day, a 14-yard strike.
For the first time in three weeks, however, he was kept out of
the end zone.
Not so for Jairus Rothermel, who scored Nordhoff's lone touchdown
from four yards out, late in the third quarter. Rothermel had
64 yards on the ground for the game and he and Strong combined
to account for over 95 percent of the team's total offense.
Farrar singled out both players for their efforts, noted Strong's
11 tackles on defense and praised Rothermel, saying he "had
another very good game."
Farrar was also pleased in the way his team responded after halftime.
"In the second half we didn't have [the same types of miscues
as in the first]. It made a big difference. We just didn't score
when we were in the red zone. We gave up the ball twice inside
the five yard line. When you lose 20-8 and you give up two scores,
you're right in the ballgame."
Next up for Nordhoff is an opportunity to even its record at
winless Santa Paula Friday night. The Rangers host one of the
league's top teams, Oaks Christian, for Senior parent Night and
their final regular season home game on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:30.
Tickets are $6 at the gate for general admission and $3 for NPA
members and ASB members.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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