So much for the science of charting a game plan. Before Friday night's season opener, John Haynes, Kennedy High football coach, lamented about not being able to run against a bigger and faster Crenshaw team.
"Their size was awesome," Haynes said. "I told our kids before the game that we simply could not run against them."
So what did Kennedy do? That's right. It ran wild, gaining 160 yards rushing on only 29 carries.
Fullback John Thomas led the ground game, rushing for 64 yards and two touchdowns on only seven carries. Tailback Roman Carter gained 66 yards on 13 carries.
Meanwhile, quarterback Eric Evans attempted only six passes, completing three for 18 yards.
Kennedy won, 35-6.
Explained Haynes, after the game: "Once we established the running game, we stuck to it."
The Kennedy offense controlled the tempo of the game with its running attack, but the night's most spectacular carry may have been by defensive tackle Ara Derderian.
Derderian, 6-3, 270 pounds, set up the Golden Cougars' last touchdown by picking up a fumble at the Kennedy 11 and rumbling 85 yards before he was dragged down at the Crenshaw 4.
He's probably still catching his breath.
The California Intercollegiate Federation prohibits the use of stickum for running backs and wide receivers who are trying to get a better grip on the ball.
Poly players have come up with a rather unique alternative. The Parrot receivers were seen rubbing peeled oranges into their hands during Friday night's game against Van Nuys.
It didn't do much good. Poly lost, 9-5, and Parrot receivers caught only three passes.
Tom Richards, Sylmar coach, promised that the Spartans would shun tradition and run the ball this season instead of trying to pass.
True to his word, Richards called all running plays in a 24-21 loss to Monroe.
Shawn Fontenot, the Spartans' quarterback, should have a pretty good throwing arm if Sylmar decides to use it. He is the cousin of Chicago Cubs pitcher Ray Fontenot.
Many of the students from Camarillo and Rio Mesa high schools went to the same junior high and elementary schools. No wonder the rivalry between the neighboring schools has become one of the most intense in Ventura County.
The competition is fierce, but at least the students haven't lost their sense of humor.
Thursday night, a group of Rio Mesa students were foiled trying to sneak into the Camarillo High agricultural department and paint that school's sheep Rio Mesa red.
Apparently, rumors that there might be such an attempt had reached Camarillo and security was beefed up.
Rio Mesa won the game, but Camarillo leads the series, 6-5. No count on which is winning in the practical joke department.
Add Rio Mesa:
Last season, when the Spartans went 2-8, Rio Mesa fans accused Coach John Reardon of running what they called a "Del Taco offense."
You guessed it: They said that every time the Spartans got the ball, Reardon called the "same play" and the "same thing" happened--nothing.
Dan Eastman, Camarillo placekicker, set a school record by making 36 consecutive extra points last season.
Eastman missed Friday night with 1:53 left in the game. Had he connected, the score at that point would have been 20-12 in Camarillo's favor.
The miss allowed Rio Mesa to come back with a touchdown and a two-point conversion to win, 20-19.
Agoura and Oak Park, city rivals, have been playing each other in football since 1983.
To the winner goes a trophy officially called the "Agoura-Oak Park Traveling Trophy."
Agoura has won each year.
We suggest that the word "traveling" be omitted until Oak Park finally wins one.
Good news: Moorpark has won consecutive games for the first time in 15 years.
Bad news: The last team that did it lost its next six games.
A mistake by Troy Rothanzl cost his brother, Tim Rothanzl, a spot in the Southern Section record book.
In Moorpark's 28-0 win over Nordhoff Friday night, Tim intercepted a pass at the goal line and ran untouched for 100 yards and an apparent touchdown. The record-setting return was called back, however, when Troy was called for a clip away from the play.
Tim only got credit for a 19-yard return, but Troy has to take the trash out for a week.
What a difference a year can make:
Last season, Manual Arts won the City 3-A championship.
In its 1985 opener Friday night, Manual Arts lost to San Fernando, 21-0, and was held to -4 yards rushing and 32 total yards.
The Toilers also attempted four punts, but got only one off. Two were blocked and there was a bad snap on the other
Dick Whitney, former Kennedy co-coach, when asked if he missed coaching football: "Hey, I get home at 11 p.m. now after games."
Guess that means no.
Harry Welch, Canyon coach, on the performance of fullback Dio Shipp in a 35-9 win over La Canada Friday night:
"He looked like a slug last week. He looked like a running back this week."
Welch has never been one to mince words.