It's bad enough Nordhoff High became the fourth team to be beaten up by the Moorpark Musketeers. But the Rangers suffered their biggest loss when their leading ground gainer left Friday's game early with an elbow injury.
Senior Jayden Morrison, who leads the team with 286 yards in 51 carries, dislocated his right elbow in the first quarter of the 34-7 loss. He will be out four to six weeks.
Morrison, a senior, is the single setback in the Rangers' run-and-shoot offense.
"We can't afford to lose Jayden," Nordhoff Coach Cliff Farrar said. "We had the ball inside the five-yard line three times and scored once."
Junior Brett Jackson, who has two carries for one yard, will most likely replace Morrison. Nordhoff (1-3) has fewer yards rushing (415) than any of the five leading ground gainers in Ventura County.
Farrar said he isn't afraid to pass on every down if the Rangers continue to have an ineffective running attack.
"We can throw the ball 60 times if we have to," he said.
Not convinced: Rio Mesa High could very well be undefeated entering its second Channel League game, but Coach John Reardon is skeptical that the Spartans are a better than average team.
Rio Mesa has a 3-1 record after convincing victories over Camarillo, Santa Clara and Hueneme last Friday. The Spartans would be undefeated if they had successfully made a two-point conversion in the final minute against Channel Islands.
"We're still untested," Reardon said. "I don't think we've beaten an outstanding team yet. Santa Clara has an outstanding team for a Division VIII school. But we compete in a Division II league and there's a big difference."
That test, Reardon believes, will come Friday at Santa Barbara.
Showing support: Mike Olgy, who was replaced by Rick Scott as Buena head coach in 1988, has been a valuable assistant and played an instrumental role preparing the Bulldogs for Friday's 35-29 win against Oxnard. After hearing that his father Jack Scott had suffered a stroke in San Gabriel Thursday morning, Rick Scott left the team in the care of Olgy.
"When I was at the hospital, he ran the team," said Scott, who has become close friends with Olgy. "He was there to help when I needed him the most. I consider Mike a co-head coach, not just an assistant. I trust him to run the defense. He makes his decisions and I make mine."
Roster changes: Fillmore also lost a key player when starting guard/linebacker Mike Palmateer sustained a broken bone in his left hand. Palmateer, who will be out four weeks, is the fastest linemen and is the third on the team with 28 tackles. . . . Buena will have two of its top lineman back in uniform. Tackle Phil Kurta returns after missing four weeks with a broken bone in his left hand. Guard Terry Hall, who broke a bone in his right foot, will also be back in the lineup. . . . Joe Elliott, a two-way starter at St. Bonaventure, has moved with his family to Huntington Beach.
Raiders rolling: Moorpark College (3-0) recorded its second consecutive shutout with a 55-0 pasting of Compton College on Saturday in a Western State Conference football game.
While the defense has been hitting on all cylinders, Moorpark Coach Jim Bittner has been looking for a more balanced offense.
Moorpark achieved that balance against Compton in piling up 555 yards of total offense. Marc Monestime of Thousand Oaks rushed for 137 yards, and Freddie Bradley of Hueneme ran for 83 yards. Quarterback Jayson Merrill of Newbury Park completed 12 of 17 passes for 238 yards.
"We're starting to get where we want to be," Bittner said. "We're starting to get where we're proficient at both running and passing. That's what we're after."
The Raiders are gearing up for a 1 p.m. home date against defending national champion Bakersfield on Oct. 14 and should have little trouble this week at Pierce.
Quick start: Ventura College (3-0, 2-0) has averaged more than 33 points a game and allowed only eight.
So Saturday's WSC game at West Los Angeles (0-3), which has lost 13 consecutive games since resuming its program last season and has been outscored 106-9 this season, should be a sure win, right?
"You compare scores and think we should win," Ventura Coach Phil Passno said. "But we still have to prove it."
Making special teams special: In a WSC win over Santa Monica on Saturday, Ventura's special teams blocked a punt that set up a touchdown, blocked a field goal that would have given Santa Monica a lead, and also blocked a point-after kick.
"Our special teams made the difference," Passno said. "Our kicking situation was better than theirs, and it paid off."
Jeff Riley and staff writer Brendan Healey contributed to this notebook.