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NOTEBOOK

No Defense for Marmonte's Exit From the Playoffs

November 24, 1998|From Staff Reports

Conventional wisdom got knocked for a loop when all four Marmonte League teams were knocked out in the first round of the Southern Section Division IV football playoffs.

Wasn't the Marmonte supposed to dominate? Not with porous defenses.

Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Westlake and Moorpark allowed 151 points, and none surrendered fewer than 34.

"We couldn't stop them from scoring," Newbury Park Coach George Hurley said of Ventura, which shocked the top-seeded Panthers, 41-39.

He could have been speaking for the entire league.

Then there was the flip side, the private schools in the Del Rey, Mission and San Fernando leagues.

Their combined playoff record: 10-0.

Harvard-Westlake didn't complete a pass in five attempts, Alemany allowed 305 yards rushing and Notre Dame needed a touchdown with nine seconds left to win, but they're all still alive.

"That'll upset the public-school guys," Alemany Coach Jim Bonds said.

*

Hueneme, which plays at San Marcos in a Division IV quarterfinal Friday, has committed turnovers early and often the last two weeks in victories over Camarillo and Righetti.

In a playoff opener last week, two Viking turnovers led to Righetti taking a 15-0 lead before Hueneme rallied to win, 40-15. Against Camarillo, the Vikings fumbled a punt and a kickoff and trailed, 6-0, before pulling away in a rout.

"It's getting to be the holidays and everybody's in that festive, giving spirit, but we've got to get out of that," Hueneme Coach Larry Miller said.

Miller said starters Keary Colbert and Jason Austin, who were injured against Righetti, are expected to play against San Marcos.

Colbert, a receiver with 31 catches for 769 yards and nine touchdowns, dislocated a finger. Austin, a wingback who has rushed for 331 yards and two touchdowns, injured a shoulder.

*

Though the loss of Jerry Owens to a broken leg was a blow to Hart, the Indians proved their offense can function without one of the region's top receivers.

Kyle Boller completed 21 of 33 passes for 351 yards in a 56-6 victory over Highland last week. Nine different receivers caught passes, including Jake Halladay, Jake Norton and Bert Horvath, who each caught his first pass of the season.

Sixteen players have caught passes for Hart this season, 11 for touchdowns. That includes Boller, who scored on a 69-yard, double-reverse pass play from Jared Bazar.

Owens, who has 63 receptions for 1,374 yards and 16 touchdowns, leads the region in yards and touchdowns and is second in receptions, despite missing 1 1/2 games.

*

Ventura, which earned a home game by upsetting top-seeded Newbury Park in the first round of the Division IV playoffs, won't be playing at home on Friday.

Instead, the Cougars will play San Luis Obispo at Oxnard High, while Buena hosts Arroyo Grande at Ventura.

The arrangement is based on an agreement Ventura and Buena reached before the season that the highest-seeded team in the playoffs would play at Ventura, the home field for both teams.

Buena, the Channel League champion, is seeded higher than Ventura.

Four teams have called Ventura's Larrabee Stadium home this season--Ventura, Buena, St. Bonaventure and Ventura College.

*

Running back Manuel White of Valencia seems to have regained his form. The junior, who rushed for 2,189 yards last season, has struggled through injuries and illness this season.

But after rushing for 256 yards in the regular-season finale against Saugus, White topped that with 275 yards--his season high--against Crescenta Valley in a Division III playoff opener.

He has 758 yards rushing in four games since sitting out Oct. 24 against Burbank because of a bruised thigh.

"He's been playing very well," Coach Brian Stiman said. "I think that comes with our team being healthy and being able to practice with more continuity."

*

Notre Dame will be getting one player back, but likely will lose one too.

Defensive end Alec Moss might return from a sprained shoulder, but starting running back Chris Leon is questionable because of a sprained knee and ankle.

The Knights (10-1), ranked No. 1 in the region by The Times, host Mater Dei (10-1) in a Division I quarterfinal Friday.

*

Staff writers Steve Henson, Eric Sondheimer, Tris Wykes, Peter Yoon and correspondent Mike Bresnahan contributed to this notebook.

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