By fullback standards, Richard Brown is small at 5 feet, 10 inches and 180 pounds. Yet the Cal State Northridge senior is one of the most productive at his position in the Western Football Conference. In two starts, the converted tailback has gained 221 yards on 29 carries.
After playing behind former All-American Mike Kane for three seasons while waiting for a chance to start, Brown still isn't sold on the position change, however.
"It's very tough to adjust to a different position and I don't necessarily agree with the decision, but I have to look at what's best for the team," Brown said. "The coaches say this is what's best, so that's what I'll do."
Trend setter: Keith Wright has caught 9 passes in 4 games for Northridge, 5 of which have gone for touchdowns. After catching a 16-yard pass for a touchdown in his first game, Wright's next four scoring plays have been generated from the same vicinity of the field--touchdowns of 29, 29, 30 and 37 yards. The first three were on up patterns and the last was on a post.
Don Tucker, a starting offensive tackle for CSUN last season, has played on the Washington Redskins' replacement team the past two weeks.
He hasn't yet started a game, but freshman tailback Albert Fann has rushed for more than 100 yards in three of Northridge's five games. His 88.2 yards a game average is second in the WFC.
Bill Hawk, Cal Lutheran's placekicker, replaced regular punter Kent Sullivan against Northridge on Saturday after Sullivan averaged 27 yards on his first two punts. Hawk, a freshman from Santa Ynez, punted five times, averaging 47 yards. His performance was one of few highlights for the Kingsmen in their 36-14 loss at North Campus Stadium.
CLU wide receiver John Bankhead suffered a bruised hip in the first half against CSUN and sat out the rest of the game. The junior from San Diego has caught 20 passes for 531 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Around the WFC: Portland State dropped from fourth to fifth this week in the Division II football poll after tying Idaho State, 24-24.
Idaho State is a Division I-AA team from the Big Sky Conference. Portland had a 1-1-1 record in three games against Big Sky Conference teams this season. The rest of the Western Football Conference was 0-2.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (5-0), Northridge's opponent Saturday, is ranked No. 11. Santa Clara (4-1) is No. 19.
It is rare for college teams to play each other more than once during the regular season, but Southern Utah and Ft. Lewis (Colo.) will meet for a second time this year Saturday. Southern Utah won the first game, 38-20.
Tom Bonds of Cal Lutheran still leads in the conference in total offense with an average of 201.6 yards a game. He fell from first to third in quarterback ratings, however, after completing 23 of 39 passes for 180 yards against Northridge.
Joe Monarrez of Cal Lutheran is tied with Barry Naone of Portland State for the lead in receptions with 32.
Valley College rose while Moorpark fell in this week's polls compiled by the state JC Athletic Bureau.
Valley (5-0 overall, 4-0 in conference), which defeated Mt. San Jacinto, 45-20, jumped from fifth to fourth in the state and from third to second in Southern California. The Monarchs are ranked 19th in the nation by the JC Grid-Wire.
Moorpark (4-1, 1-1), which lost to Bakersfield, 26-23, fell from fourth to ninth in the state and from second to fifth in Southern California.
Valley continues to lead the state in offense, averaging 494.8 yards a game.
Quarterback Barry Hanks, who has thrown for 966 yards, is fifth in the state in passing.
Dondre Bausley, who rushed for 247 yards on 20 carries and scored 5 touchdowns in last week's win over Mt. San Jacinto was selected running back of the week by the JC Athletic Bureau. Bausley leads the state in rushing (181 yards per game) and scoring (72 points). Teammate James Reaves, who caught 9 passes for 150 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown, was selected wide receiver of the week.
Bausley, who has 905 yards on 103 carries, is the high-profile player in Valley's offense. But fullback Howard Howell is quickly becoming a target for defenses looking to slow down the Valley juggernaut.
Howell, 5-10, 224 pounds, has carried just 24 times for 155 yards. But the sophomore from Omaha, Neb., is an excellent blocker.
"It's hard for me to believe there's a better JC fullback anywhere," Valley Coach Chuck Ferrero said. "He's the best player in the conference at his position. The fullback is kind of the unsung hero in our offense. Don't get me wrong, Bausley is a great one, but Bausley wouldn't be doing the things he's doing without Howell."
Ferrero could hardly wait for today's sneak preview of a 5-week-old game film.
The film stars San Bernardino Valley College quarterback Steve Shaw, who missed the past three games because of a broken hand. With Shaw sidelined, Ferrero had to obtain the San Bernardino-Compton game film to critique the injured quarterback. Ferrero expects Shaw to start against Valley on Saturday night.