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No Joshin', Rigby Leads Nordhoff : Football: Unheralded back forges Rangers into Frontier League lead with 36-27 defeat of Moorpark.


OJAI — On the line was a probable Frontier League championship and possible area rushing title. Add to that a revenge factor.

Nordhoff enjoyed the best of everything in a 36-27 victory over visiting Moorpark.

But not before the Rangers could withstand a frantic comeback by the Musketeers (7-2, 2-1 in league play), who trailed, 29-7 and 36-13, before rallying for 20 fourth-quarter points.

Dallan Rigby, Nordhoff's other running back, stole the show. He ran for two touchdowns, threw a touchdown pass, passed for a first down on a fake punt and kicked a a key 47-yard punt in the second quarter that led to a turnover.

That turnover led to Rigby's second touchdown--and a permanent lead for the Rangers (6-3, 3-0).

"This is the championship," Rigby said. "This is the game. Josh (Hawkins) had a helluva game. But they were keying on him, so I had to step up."

Hawkins began the night as the region's top Southern Section rusher with 1,302 yards. Moorpark's Bryan Wilkins wasn't far behind with 1,187 yards.

Hawkins won the personal battle, with 157 yards and a touchdown in 27 carries. Wilkins finished with 117 in 24 carries and five receptions for 45 yards. Wilkins did not score a touchdown--in part because Hawkins, playing defense, three times threw him for losses.

Most important, Nordhoff avenged a 27-21 loss to Moorpark in last year's league title game.

"We took it personally when they beat us last year," Hawkins said. "The whole thing was about revenge. We knew we could stop Wilkins. I had fun. It was all emotional. I wanted this bad."

Hawkins opened a wild second half with 14-yard touchdown run. Then Nordhoff Coach Cliff Farrar got a big play from his son, Russell, who intercepted a deflected pass and rambled 45 yards for a touchdown. When the Rangers' Mike Sheets kicked a 42-yard field goal, Nordhoff took a 29-7 advantage into the final period.

Moorpark quarterback Bryan Paul rallied his team with touchdown runs of 14 and 16 yards and an 11-yard scoring pass to Mike Williams in the fourth quarter.

But Rigby, who accounted for 63 yards rushing and 62 yards passing, spoiled the comeback when he threw a 42-yard touchdown bomb to Tony Henney from his halfback position.

"I thought I would contribute, but never like this," Rigby said. "This is a dream come true."

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