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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Third Time a Kick for Rosenberg

Football: After two poor punts, his 55-yard field goal provides the difference for West.

July 18, 1998|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VAN NUYS — The first two times kicker Dave Rosenberg of Calabasas High trotted off the field, his head was hanging, embarrassed by his subpar performance on his first punt and a shank on the second.

On trip No. 3, Rosenberg was seeking redemption.

"I said [to myself], 'I'm going make up for those right here,' " Rosenberg said.

Then he let his leg do the talking.

Rosenberg's 55-yard field goal on the last play of the first half was all the West needed to defeat the East, 9-0, Friday in the Valley Youth Conference All-Star game in front of about 2,000 at Birmingham.

Except for an almost meaningless 65-yard interception return for a touchdown by Taft's Sedric Hurns on the final play of the game, Rosenberg's boot was the difference.

"We knew before the game started [Rosenberg's leg] was key," said West Coach Rick Hayashida of El Camino Real. "I had a feeling it was going to be a low-scoring game and we saw him kick 60 yards in practice."

Sixty yards in practice and 62 in pregame kicks, so the odds were pretty darn good.

Kicking from the right hash mark, Rosenberg's boot had plenty of distance, hitting the top of the left upright before caroming through the goal posts.

"I wanted to hit a big field goal to get my team hyped and go into halftime with a 3-0 lead," said Rosenberg, who was selected the most valuable player of the game.

To set the stage for the heroic kick, the West got the ball back after a punt at its 46-yard line with about 35 seconds left in the first half. Hayashida knew there was plenty of time as long as the offense made a first down immediately.

On first down, Scott Doherty of Birmingham hooked up with receiver Demond Daniels of El Camino Real for 16 yards. Then Doherty spiked the ball intentionally to stop the clock.

"All along Coach Hayashida told me, 'You're our weapon,' " Rosenberg said. "I'm just happy he had the confidence in me for a long field goal."

As long as it was, it wasn't Rosenberg's best. He hit a 59-yarder against St. Bonaventure last season to set a school record and had game-winning field goals against Ontario Christian and Harvard-Westlake in his two- year career at Calabasas.

Rosenberg, who is invited to walk on at Michigan State and can win a scholarship if he can earn the starting position at kicker, hit seven of 12 field goals and 36 of 41 extra points last season at Calabasas.

Rosenberg has been a life-long soccer player and was an All-Southern Section goalkeeper last season. He started kicking a football only two years ago, but now he's hooked.

"I got all hyped up with all the people and the fans," he said. "I just like the environment of football."

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