Varsity Ranger gridders
on a roll
By Jesse Phelps
Ryan Whitcomb threw two touchdown
passes and Nordhoff running backs rolled up 236 rushing yards
in a 42-7 demolition of Bishop Diego Garcia High School at Santa
Barbara City College Friday night.
The CIF Division XI No. 4 Rangers (4-1, 2-0) used a balanced
offensive attack and a stifling defense to rack up their fourth
straight victory and second straight Tri-Valley League win. Nordhoff
scored 21 points in the second quarter and 14 more in the third
to put away the Cardinals (2-3, 1-1).
Will Strong again led the Ranger rushing attack, scoring twice
on runs of 2 yards and 1 yard, and gaining 129 yards on 16 carries.
Josh Catlett also scored and picked up 63 rushing yards on eight
Catlett and younger brother Casey also dominated on the other
side of the ball, leading a Ranger defense that shut out Bishop
in the second half. Between them, the Catlett brothers recorded
12 tackles and one and one-half sacks.
"Even though he's only a sophomore, Casey handles the defense
really well for us," said Nordhoff head coach Cliff Farrar.
Evan Shanbrom also contributed mightily to the Ranger defense
with 10 tackles and half a sack. The Rangers recovered two fumbles
on the evening, one by Marty Vogel (who also had nine tackles
and one rushing touchdown) and the other by Ryan Middlemiss (six
But the heart of the Nordhoff success, as it has been for years,
came on the ground.
"I thought all our running backs played well tonight, I
mean, everybody had a touchdown," said Farrar. "And
our receivers caught the ball well tonight and Ryan threw the
Though Nordhoff continued to do damage through the air, Farrar
stated that everything still starts with a run-first philosophy.
He gave credit to his play-caller for taking advantage of the
strengths of his ball club, but stopped short of calling it a
changing of the guard for the old Nordhoff offense.
"Scott Titus just does a
real nice job as offensive coordinator," said Farrar. "He
wants to open things us a little but and I've got to let him
do that. We're going to run the ball and we're going to play
action off of it. But we've got to be able to come out and throw
the ball on third and eight, which we did tonight. We've been
practicing real hard the last two weeks on throwing the football."
It showed. Already leading 21-7 late in the second quarter after
two scores from Strong and the Catlett touchdown, Nordhoff drove
58 yards in 20 seconds, highlighted by a 24-yard reception by
Clark Bigler. The drive ended with just 5.2 seconds on the clock
when Whitcomb hit Andy Doyle on a 5-yard scoring pass.
In the third quarter, it was Bigler who found the end zone for
the first time on the year, catching another 5-yarder from Whitcomb,
who finished six of 10 for 94 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
His 40-yard connection with Strong was the Rangers' longest pass-play
of the year.
The Rangers have won their last three games by a combined 92
points, an average margin of victory of over 30 points. Their
next game takes place Friday at Fillmore at 7:30 p.m. to be preceded
as usual by the junior varsities at 4:30 p.m.
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
DEFENSIVE LINE proved to be a key asset to the Rangers last Friday
when they overtook the Bishop Diego Cardinals, 42-7. Nordhoff,
ranked No. 4 in CIF-SS Division XI, is now 4-1 overall.