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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Chatsworth Leaves Its Leader Panting During 26-15 Victory

City: Chancellors' rushing attack has school's new principal somewhat sorry he issued a challenge.

November 20, 1998|TRIS WYKES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CHATSWORTH — Dan Wyatt, recently hired as principal at Chatsworth High, is demonstrative when he displays his school spirit.

Nevertheless, the 51-year old administrator wore the look of a doomed man Thursday as he watched the Chancellors defeat South Gate, 26-15, in a City Division first-round playoff game.

"This is great but I'm not sure I can take this again next week," Wyatt said with a groan, contemplating Chatsworth's Nov. 25 quarterfinal date with Belmont, a 23-20 first-round winner over Hamilton.

Wyatt, who arrived at Chatsworth from Sylmar High four weeks ago, was distressed when the Chancellors lost their final four regular-season games to begin his tenure.

Thursday morning, the principal announced to Chatsworth students that he would sprint one length of the field with a large school flag for each point the Chancellors scored.

Wyatt was busy--and tired--by the end of the night. His antics drew loud cheers from a crowd that watched Chatsworth (6-5) break a 7-7 halftime tie and take a 26-7 lead in the fourth quarter before the Rams (6-5) scored with 36 seconds remaining.

"They told us to take it easy on the new principal and stop scoring," joked Chancellor receiver Reggie Lee, who caught four passes for 28 yards and a touchdown and kicked field goals of 28 and 23 yards. "No one wanted him to have a heart attack."

Chatsworth relied on the rushing tandem of Eric Harris and Jason Holmes, who combined for 145 yards and a touchdown in 31 carries.

Quarterback Matt Cassel completed only six of 14 passes for 81 yards and had a pass intercepted.

Chatsworth, which had possession for only 17 seconds in the first quarter, scored its first points on an eight-yard touchdown run by Rafael Cansino with 30 seconds remaining in the first half.

Lengthy drives at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth produced Lee's field goals and a 13-7 lead. The Chancellors put the game away when Lee caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Cassel with 5:36 to play and Harris ran for a four-yard touchdown with 1:34 to play.

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