Rangers look to future after
by Jesse Phelps
The red zone was a dangerous place to be for Nordhoff's varsity
football team Saturday night in Westlake Village. The Rangers
consistently drove the ball inside the 20-yard line against Oaks
Christian (8-1, 4-1), in a game postponed one day due to Ojai's
early weekend rain squall. However, aside from a 22-yard Greg
Cresto field goal to open the game's scoring, they were unable
to capitalize, losing 31-3.
A respectable cheering contingent traveled with the team for
what was supposed to be Nordhoff's final home game of the year
and senior parent night. But none of it was enough to help a
squad decimated by injury and struggling to find its rhythm when
faced with an opportunity to score.
A swarming Oaks Christian defense, led by defensive end Kyle
McClure, recorded several key sacks and quarterback hurries when
Nordhoff (3-6, 2-4) pressed toward the end zone. Quarterbacks
Andy Bowman and Ryan Whitcomb were a combined five of 15 passing
on the night.
The two constantly had to scramble out of danger and tended to
overthrow receivers slowed by the still-wet conditions.
To top it off, Nordhoff's leading rusher Will Strong was unable
to carry his usual load on offense, though he did contribute
12 tackles from his linebacker position on defense. "He'd
had a bad thigh bruise all week," explained Nordhoff head
coach Cliff Farrar. "He didn't practice and the extra day
of rest actually made it (possible) for him to play. If we'd
had to play yesterday, he wouldn't have been able to play."
Marty Vogel carried the ball 18 times in Strong's absence, gaining
112 yards for an impressive per-carry average of 6.2 yards.
Josh Catlett added 75 yards on 12 carries to pace a Ranger rushing
attack that gained 192 yards on the ground for the game. But
no one could find the end zone.
"The running backs, the offensive line played great,"
said a somewhat frustrated Farrar. "The offense moved the
ball until we got to the 10, the five. How many times did we
give up the ball in the red zone the last three weeks?"
Nordhoff dominated in terms of time of possession, a deceiving
stat on this night due to Oaks Christian's quick-strike passing
game, which piled up yards using very little clock.
Nordhoff travels south this week to Downey, to take on Warren
in the final regular season game for 2002. Oddly enough, Nordhoff
needs help from its arch-rival this weekend to salvage a playoff
If Santa Paula bests Fillmore, the Rangers are in.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
Back to sports
Back to the news
BACK MAX THOMAS eventually makes the tackle on an unidentified
Oaks Christian player during Saturday's humbling loss, in which
the Rangers were held to a single field goal.