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Newbury Park Puts It on the Line for Czernek

November 29, 1996

After Newbury Park High's Chris Czernek threw 50 passes without being sacked last Friday night, Coach George Hurley told reporters his line had allowed only nine sacks all season.

Only nine sacks on a team that has thrown 419 passes?

"I couldn't believe it either, so we went back through films and re-counted," Hurley said.

"Actually, the number is seven."

Czernek's quick release and nimble feet are factors, but five very large reasons stand in front of him on every play.

His line includes senior tackle Brian Nelson (6-2, 235), junior tackle Chris Soury (6-1, 235), junior guard Brian Crain (6-2, 190), sophomore guard Anthony Foli (6-3, 230) and junior center Justin Nagy (5-10, 180). Junior John Duca (5-9, 161) also gets playing time.

All except Nagy start on defense.

"Nelson is the best lineman we've had here in many years," Hurley said. "They are all hard workers who have steadily improved all season."

Czernek, who has passed for a state-high 3,587 yards, has thrown about 120 passes since he was last sacked.

Good call: By doing some driving himself, Notre Dame High defensive coordinator Joe McNab saved his team a round-trip bus ride of about 280 miles tonight.

The top-seeded Knights (10-1) are playing host to Lompoc (7-4) because McNab won a coin flip last Sunday.

"He went down [to the Southern Section office] and called 'tails,' " Kevin Rooney said.

Just like that. Then he drove about 40 miles home.

Frantic finish: A week has passed, yet Calabasas High football Coach Larry Edwards still marvels at the way the Coyotes' first-round Southern Section Division X playoff game ended against visiting Ontario Christian.

Calabasas won the game, 17-14, on a 41-yard field goal by David Rosenberg as time expired.

But as Calabasas players and coaches rushed the field to celebrate, Ontario Christian backers, believing time had expired before the snap of the ball, stormed out of the stands to protest to the officials.

"I'm running around looking for someone to hug and all of a sudden I had an [Ontario Christian] parent pushing me and cursing me," Edwards said. "Some of their fans ran after the referees and some chased our players around. It was surreal."

Trying to determine whether, indeed, the clock had struck zero, Edwards said he watched game film with Ontario Christian's athletic director just as soon as it was made available. But even that was inconclusive.

A side note: The play's unlikeliest participant was Calabasas sophomore Dallas Enoch, a reserve quarterback who was called up from the junior varsity.

Enoch was thrust onto the field as Rosenberg's holder after Kevin Wang, the regular holder, was injured during the game.

"His first varsity play," Edwards said. "I think he'll remember it."

Economy model: Todd Hourigan of Hart High, widely considered the Foothill League's best linebacker, is also its best ballcarrier in short-yardage situations.

Hourigan has scored on half of his 22 carries.

Not so fast: Lyn Boop, Highland High's boys' basketball coach, was practically on his hands and knees apologizing to football Coach Lin Parker last Friday.

Boop and others were urging students to attend a basketball scrimmage this week that was supposed to feature guards Camy Smith and Will Demps.

But Smith, the quarterback, and Demps, a receiver, are key players on a Highland football team that has reached the second round of the Southern Section football playoffs by defeating Santa Monica last week.

"Excuse me," Parker said. "But football season is not over."

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