In years past, the winner of the Thousand Oaks-Simi Valley High football game would receive a perpetual trophy known as the "victory bell," a large hunk of brass that was wheeled around on a cart.
But nobody has seen the bell in recent years, so Thousand Oaks, a 24-12 winner over Simi Valley on Friday night, will have to settle for the Marmonte League championship instead. The Lancers clinched at least a share of the title with their fifth league win without a loss. They are 8-1 overall.
"I think the bell died a death," Pioneer Athletic Director Terry Dobbins said. "I've never seen the damn thing to tell you the truth."
That's not surprising. The Lancers have won 21 of 24 meetings with Simi Valley (3-6, 0-5), spoiling the Pioneers' Homecoming on Friday.
Thousand Oaks won with defense, holding Simi Valley to 62 yards rushing and 105 yards in total offense.