Not only did John Johnson run Westlake High out of town with 241 yards and four touchdowns Friday night at Hueneme High, he might have run the Warriors right out of the Coastal Conference playoff picture.
Johnson led Channel Islands to a 27-6 win over Westlake, which is 0-for-November in the past three seasons. Westlake has not qualified for the playoffs since 1982 and must hope for the conference at-large bid.
The defeat drops the Warriors to 6-4, but 4-2 in league. Camarillo, a 24-14 winner over Royal on Friday night, is the third-place representative from the Marmonte league.
Channel Islands (8-2, 5-1) captured the league championship because Thousand Oaks tied Simi Valley, 17-17, Friday night. It is the Raiders' first championship since 1979. Thousand Oaks is the league's second-place representative.
Contreras must wait until Sunday morning to find out whether his team, which only a month ago upset Thousand Oaks, will gain the at-large berth.
Johnson for at least one night made the Channel Islands' fans forget his brother Hilria, who set the Ventura County career rushing record when he played for the Raiders from 1977 to '79.
"Like I said," said Johnson, a junior tailback. "It was all offensive line. I just ran."
Johnson ran 56 yards for a score to give Channel Islands a 27-0 lead in the fourth quarter. As was the case for most of the night, he raced around left end and outran the Warriors' secondary. Johnson has 17 touchdowns this season.
"He had a great night when he had to have it," Westlake Coach George Contreras said. "He led them to the victory."
Johnson, obviously, was a large part of a Raiders' offense that amassed 326 yards rushing against an overmatched Westlake defense. Fullback E. J. Miller had 69 yards in 11 carries for Channel Islands, which seemed to tear off chunks of yardage at will.
Westlake's only touchdown came with 2:05 left when wide receiver Ryan Behrens connected with Todd Thompson on a 44-yard pass on a reverse option play.
Channel Islands led, 20-0, when Johnson sliced into the end zone from two yards out five plays into the second half. Westlake received the opening kick of the half, but the kickoff struck return man Keith Burke in the foot and ricocheted to the 26-yard line, where it was recovered by Channel Islands' Rod Jones.
Twice Johnson, who has 983 yards this season, got around left end for long touchdowns in the first half.
On the Raiders' second possession, Johnson scooted 31 yards around the left side to give Channel Islands a 7-0 lead. The Raiders drove 73 yards in six plays--66 of the yards on runs by Johnson, who ran as strongly inside the tackles as he did outside the ends.
Channel Islands went ahead, 14-0, when Johnson again got loose and galloped 36 yards, this time finishing off a seven-play, 83-yard drive.
The Raiders outgained Westlake in total yards in the half, 238-104.
For Westlake, Noel Baker gained 28 yards rushing and Greg Cox and Todd Thompson each had 22. Westlake had trouble finishing its drives with points. Six times the Warriors failed to convert fourth-down plays, once from the Raiders' 31-yard line with time running out.
Cox, who replaced injured senior Bob Grandpre, completed just one pass in the half, to Garret Messner for 16 yards on a fourth-and-19 play late in the first quarter. Channel Islands then took possession and scored its second touchdown.
Inside linebacker Kelly Occhiline led the Raiders' charge on defense with a sack and an interception. Channel Islands sacked Cox four times.