Valley College's 7-6 loss to Antelope Valley last Saturday in a Southern California Conference football game not only ended the Monarchs' 13-game winning streak, but probably also their chances for an invitation to the Southern California Bowl as SCC champion.
Valley dropped to 7-1, 6-1 in SCC play, with two games remaining. Antelope Valley is undefeated.
Valley averaged 36.5 points a game during its win streak and had averaged 481.7 yards a game this season. Coach Chuck Ferrero blamed the rainy, muddy conditions for helping Antelope Valley hold the Monarchs to 194 yards.
"On a dry field, we're 35 points better than they are," Ferrero said. "We're a great football team. It took circumstances beyond our control."
Ferrero said the conditions suited Antelope Valley, which doesn't pass much and has a tough defense against the run.
"It was a quagmire," Ferrero said of the field. "You're trying to call plays to stay out of the worst mud puddles. After a while there's nowhere else to go."
Praise for Baus: Dondre Bausley has rushed for more than 200 yards in a game several times, but never did he receive more praise from Ferrero than after he gained 102 yards against Antelope Valley.
He carried 36 times in a driving rainstorm despite a deep thigh bruise he suffered during the first quarter.
"I don't know how he did it," Ferrero said. "It was one of the most courageous things I've ever seen him do. He's a phenomenon."
Bausley has been held to 193 yards in the past three games but continues to lead the state in rushing with 1,098 yards.
Mud on the face: Jim Bittner said Moorpark handicapped itself against Glendale by failing to plan for muddy conditions.
"I was just convinced it wasn't going to rain," Bittner said. "The field conditions took us out of about 70% of our offense because we have a lateral running game and our backs couldn't get their footing. Our trapping game was out the window because everyone was slipping and sliding so we had to go straight ahead.
"We'll have a muddy-field plan this week against Santa Monica."
Pulling rank: Valley fell from third to 12th in the state and from second to sixth in Southern California in polls compiled by the JC Athletic Bureau. Moorpark, which lost to Glendale, is no longer in the top 20 in the state. The Raiders are ranked 12th in Southern California.
The great escape: Total offense statistics would indicate that Cal State Northridge was fortunate to escape with a 7-6 victory over Santa Clara last Saturday.
The Matadors were outgained, 266-69, in the rain and mud at North Campus Stadium. But it's anyone's guess what might have transpired on a dry field.
"Both teams played well under horrible circumstances," CSUN Coach Bob Burt said. "It hurt their passing game and we were not able to use our advantage in athletic ability."
Despite the poor playing conditions, the Broncos were able to move the ball effectively using a short passing game. Quarterback Greg Calcagno attempted 32 passes, completing 13 for 151 yards. He normally likes to throw deep often but was unable to do so against the Matador--nine of the completions were to running backs.
On the other side, Lance Harper, CSUN's breakaway threat in the backfield, played only one series of downs. Albert Fann, the Western Football Conference's leading rusher entering the game, had 56 yards on 14 carries before bowing out in the third quarter with a thigh bruise.
He already had done enough damage to provide the Matadors with the victory, however. The freshman from Cleveland High ran back the second-half kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Then Northridge left the game up to its defense, which shut down the Broncos three times inside the Matador 10-yard line in the second half.
Game-breaker: Fann's 85-yard kickoff return was well short of the Northridge record of 99 yards held by fullback Richard Brown.
Brown's record-setting effort occurred two years ago against St. Mary's. Brown also returned kickoffs last season but has been displaced by Fann, who is among Division II leaders in return average.
Saturday's return was Fann's third touchdown to cover more than 80 yards this season. He had a 97-yard touchdown run against San Francisco State and an 81-yard run for a score against Cal Lutheran.
The rankings: Cal State Northridge, at No. 17, popped into the top 20 of the Division II football poll after defeating previously ninth-ranked Santa Clara. Portland State, which leads the Western Football Conference, is No. 4 and Santa Clara dropped to No. 19.
It took CSUN three weeks to crack the top 20 last season even though the Matadors were coming off a 4-7 season.
This season, despite an 8-3 record in 1986, it took CSUN eight games. The Matadors dropped their season opener, 30-0, to Boise State.