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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Taft Wins Within Bounds of Reason

City football: Toreador receiver makes up for drop by making winning catch in 35-28 victory over Venice.

November 26, 1998|MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VENICE — K.C. Bounds knew he made a mistake. He also knew how to fix it.

Bounds got his share of redemption and helped Taft High move one step closer to a return trip to the Coliseum with a 35-28 victory over Venice in a City Championship quarterfinal Wednesday night at Venice.

Bounds caught the winning touchdown pass and helped stop Venice running back Jaime Moreno on fourth down from the Taft 10 with less than two minutes to play.

Seventh-seeded Taft (10-2), which has played for the major division title the past two years, will play Dorsey in a semifinal Dec. 4 at a site to be determined.

Bounds--a three-year varsity player--could have put the game away late in the third quarter, but he dropped a pass on a trick play that could have given the Toreadors a two-touchdown lead. Bounds was left uncovered after he jogged to the sideline--but didn't step out of bounds--from the huddle at the Taft 42. Brandon Hance threw a perfect pass but Bounds juggled and dropped the ball.

Taft was forced to punt, and No. 2-seeded Venice, led by quarterback J.P. Losman, only needed two plays. The Gondoliers tied it, 28-28, on a 10-yard run by Moreno with 10:37 left.

But Taft came right back. Marquis Brignac broke off runs of 18 and eight yards, Lawrence Wallace converted on fourth down by breaking three tackles, and Bounds caught a six-yard scoring pass from Hance with eight minutes left.

"He's a special kid," Taft Coach Troy Starr said of Bounds. "Not many guys can bounce right back from a play like that."

Venice (11-1) still had plenty of time. Facing fourth and 10 from the Venice 33, Losman scrambled for 12 yards.

But faced with fourth and two from the Taft 10, Losman pitched to Moreno, who was stopped by Bounds and several other Taft defenders for no gain.

Losman, who completed 15 of 28 passes for 239 yards, fought back from a crunching hit by Dionte Hall in the third quarter and two interceptions in the end zone by Ronald Andrews.

Andrews, who was suspended from the team for three weeks for disciplinary reasons, is back in the good graces of Starr. He responded with the interceptions and a 31-yard catch that led to a three-yard touchdown run by Hance.

"I had to start going to class," Andrews said. "I'm looking at things differently now."

Brignac, playing exclusively on offense because of a sprained ankle, gained 209 yards in 26 carries and scored on runs of one and three yards. Hance completed 11 of 18 passes for 213 yards.

Losman threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Jerrold Wilkerson in the first quarter and scored on runs of two and six yards.

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