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Matador Football Players Enjoy New Status on Campus

September 04, 1997

Funny how a landslide victory can help improve a team's image.

Senior defensive end Dan Lazarovits said Cal State Northridge's 63-23 pounding of Boise State on Saturday night already is generating interest at the school.

"There's definitely a buzz about us on campus," said Lazarovits, who made four tackles against the Broncos. "This is a good spark. It's a good way of getting things going. . . . I brought out my Northridge football [T-]shirt today and people have noticed."

The Matadors will strive for an even higher profile when they play Hawaii this Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. It is the second of three consecutive Division I-A opponents for Northridge.

Coach Jim Fenwick, whose team is scheduled to arrive in Hawaii today, must contend with a much stronger foe than Boise State, as well as other trappings that may come with the territory.

"Making sure that our kids don't get stung by jelly fish," Fenwick said.

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The Northridge football team isn't used to playing before record crowds, but that's exactly what the Matadors did at Boise.

There were 26,824 people on hand for the season opener in Boise's new, expanded venue. Bronco Stadium, at game time, had a population that would have been the fourth-largest city in Idaho.

Boise fans saw their team establish a record, too--but not the kind they wanted. The Broncos gave up 511 passing yards.

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Fenwick wasn't positive, but he believed the 56 Northridge players who made the trip all played.

"We wanted to keep everyone fresh and I think it helped us in the game," he said.

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Much was made about Northridge, for one reason or another, opening without its top three receivers from last year.

No need to fear. After spotting Boise State 16 points, Matador receivers made the Bronco secondary look like a bunch of bad traffic cops.

Brian Comer, playing receiver for the first time in 2 1/2 years, made nine receptions for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Drew Hill, a junior who redshirted last season, had eight catches for 115 yards. Aaron Arnold, a sophomore who made nine catches last season, had six for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

The names change, but the Northridge offense, which rolled for 643 yards, looks ready to survive any turnover.

And, as quarterback Aaron Flowers said afterward, "When we get Jerome [Henry] back, we'll even be more potent."

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While the Northridge passing game picked up right where it left off last season, the Matadors' running game looked more dangerous than ever--even though the numbers didn't show it.

Fenwick started Norman Clarke, last year's rushing champion. After two series, the coach went with Jahi Arnold. After two more series, he went with Marcus Harvey. To start the second half, he went with Derek Charles.

Clarke already has proven himself a capable Division I-AA running back. The other three give the Matadors slightly different looks--and perhaps more importantly, fresh legs.

Including Flowers, Northridge used seven ballcarriers and gained 132 yards in 31 carries.

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Tim Kirksey says he has found a home at Cal Lutheran.

"This is it. I'm staying," said Kirksey, a junior wide receiver. "I'm happy. This is probably the best program I've ever been in."

It's also the sixth.

Kirksey, 23, seemingly has done it all--all over the place. After playing quarterback at Camarillo and Simi Valley highs, he transferred to Westlake, where he switched to catching passes. He graduated in 1992.

Kirksey (6 feet 1, 195 pounds) played two seasons as a free safety at Moorpark College before transferring to Humboldt State. He took a year off from school before transferring to Cal Lutheran this year.

Kirksey made a good impression with scoring receptions of 53 and 28 yards in a scrimmage last weekend.

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The numbers Cal Lutheran cornerback Anthony Sullivan wears around his neck. . . and has tattooed on his arm. . . and scrawled on athletic tape on both wrists. . . tell a story.

The No. 1 pendant that hangs from a necklace is the same as the one he expects to wear on his jersey this fall.

Sullivan wore number 21 last season.

"I wanted a single-digit number," Sullivan said. "And the only one left was number one, which is kind of cocky, I guess, but it kind of suits my personality, too."

As for his tattoos, Sullivan's biceps bear the initials ATS, overlapped with the Roman numeral II, a reference to Anthony Terrence Sullivan Jr.

The Roman numeral III, penned in thick felt pen on white tape around his wrists, serves as a tribute to Anthony Terrence Sullivan III, his 9-month-old son.

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The Ventura women's soccer team, which won the Western State Conference title in the program's inaugural season under Coach Steve Hoffman, opens the season Saturday against Citrus in the Cuesta tournament.

The Pirates (20-2-2 last season) have six all-conference players returning, including sweeper Joy Barry, the WSC's most valuable player. Other returning players include defender Janet Cooper, midfielder Alicia Morosic and fullback Randy Zinn. A notable addition is freshman midfielder Barbara Almaraz, a two-time Times' all-region selection from Buena High.

Barry, meanwhile, continues to compete for a job as kicker on the school's football team. A former kicker at Thousand Oaks High, Barry is among three players in contention for the starting position.

"She made a few extra points in our scrimmage last week," first-year Coach Terry Morris said.

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Staff writers Fernando Dominguez, Mike Hiserman and Vince Kowalick and correspondent Lauren Peterson contributed to this notebook.

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