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AROUND THE LEAGUES : More Offense, Fewer Penalties Turn Kennedy's Season Around

November 12, 1986

With its 35-0 win over Cleveland last week, Kennedy is finally playing at the level expected of the team. In nonleague losses to Crenshaw, Banning and Alemany, the Golden Cougars were plagued by penalties, mistakes by special teams and an impotent offense.

Kennedy's defense, the best in the area all season, has been complemented by solid offensive and special-teams play recently, and the Golden Cougars have improved to 5-3-1 and 2-0-1 in the Valley 4-A League. Coach Bob Francola credits a revamped offense. "We changed our entire offense after the Banning game," he said. "We got away from the I-formation. From then on, we've slowly gathered steam. Friday night we looked as good as an offensive team can look."

Running back Edwin Jones, who gained 280 yards against Cleveland, said the new formation allows him to hit holes more quickly. "From the I-formation, it took longer to get to the hole and the linemen had to sustain their blocks for a long time," he said. "Now, boom, I'm into the secondary."

And, boom, Kennedy will tie for the league title with a win over San Fernando on Friday.

He still can't play: Don't expect to see Demetrius Jones in a Calabasas uniform this Friday. Jones is a 6-6, 220-pound lineman who had been banned from the team by Southern Section officials because he is in his ninth high school semester. Jones won a court injunction last week allowing him to play, but did not attend practice last week, Coach Larry Edwards said. Jones remains ineligible to play under Southern Section rules because he has not worked out 10 days in pads. "He's worked out only about four times and he didn't show up today," Edwards said Tuesday. "We can't even consider using him until he's physically eligible to play."

Rematch repeat?: After Antelope Valley snapped Canyon's 46-game win streak, 21-20, last Friday, several Antelope Valley players consoled Canyon players by saying, "See you in five weeks." Last season Canyon defeated the Antelopes, 30-6, in the regular season and again, 9-7, in the Northwestern Conference championship game. "We'll probably play Canyon in the final again this year," Antelope Valley running back Eric Mortensen said. A rematch won't be as easy to come by, however. The Golden League moved up to the Coastal Conference this season and playoff teams will include Pacific League and defending conference champion Muir (9-0) and Channel League champion Oxnard (9-0).

The bell is alive and well: Some fans wondered what happened to a large brass bell that used to be held by the winner of the Thousand Oaks-Simi Valley game. After Thousand Oaks defeated Simi Valley, 24-12, last week, Jo Moss of Thousand Oaks called with a confession. "I have the bell," she said. Her daughter, Rhonda Moss, was a Thousand Oaks cheerleader in 1976 and the bell has been in the Moss' garage ever since. "My daughter is not a kleptomaniac," said Moss, laughing. "A Thousand Oaks coach told me to get rid of the thing. They can have it back. It's in good shape, but we can't find the ding dong."

No condolences offered: Burroughs Coach Bob Dunivant didn't sympathize with anyone who thought he ran up the score in Friday's 62-3 win over Alhambra. "Nobody said football was nice," he said. "I've been beaten, 60-0, before and it's not fun to get beat in the 60s. But you've got to take your losses like a man."

Quarterback Jeff Barrett completed 17 of 25 passes for 362 yards and 3 touchdowns--and played the whole game. Burroughs scored 29 points in the second half. "We haven't taken him out at any time this year," Dunivant said. "If we had a backup quarterback we could depend on, we'd put him in. But Barrett's a junior, and what the hell, we might as well get him all the work we can."

Dunivant said his team had extra motivation for Friday's game. The win was the 100th in his career at Burroughs.

Injury report: As the final seconds ticked away in Crespi's 32-27 loss to St. John Bosco last week, Crespi's Russell White and Sean Howard were on the bench with injuries. White, the area's leading rusher, aggravated an ankle injury on Crespi's first play of its last drive and didn't return to the game. Howard, a 6-5, 215-pound linebacker, suffered an eye injury and left early in the fourth quarter. Neither injury is serious, however, and both are expected to play Saturday night against St. Francis. . . . Bell-Jeff quarterback Keith FitzGerald will miss this week's game against Dominguez because of a fractured index finger on his throwing hand. FitzGerald, who injured the finger in practice last Wednesday, has completed 50% of his passes for 1,191 yards and 12 touchdowns.

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