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El Camino Real Walks All Over San Fernando

Northwest Valley: Conquistadores score five touchdowns in first nine minutes in 63-30 victory.


CANOGA PARK — San Fernando High linebacker Noe Ramirez lay face down for several seconds after Devontra Hargrove of El Camino Real ran past him en route to a 53-yard touchdown.

Ramirez wasn't hurt, but probably feeling the aftereffects of a defense trampled upon.

El Camino Real scored five touchdowns in the first nine minutes and went on to a 63-30 victory over the Tigers in a Northwest Valley Conference opener Friday night at Canoga Park High.

San Fernando (3-1, 0-1) was playing its second game without middle linebacker Eduardo Ramirez, who injured his knee against University, but he probably wouldn't have made much difference.

The Tigers turned the ball over five times and gave up their most points in almost a half-century. San Fernando lost to North Hollywood, 66-0, in 1949.

El Camino Real (2-1-1, 1-0) gained 403 rushing yards, with five different players gaining at least 50 yards. Hargrove did the most damage, gaining 145 yards in nine carries, scoring on runs of 43 and 53 yards.

"It was just open out there," Hargrove said. "We were rolling."

The Conquistadores got going early, apparently trying to erase the memories of a 27-22 loss to San Fernando last year. DeAngelo Nedd took the opening kickoff and returned it 94 yards for a touchdown.

Nedd played sparingly in the backfield because of a nagging leg injury, but still gained 55 yards in nine carries, scoring on a four-yard run.

"We wanted to get some revenge," Nedd said. "I didn't think [the score] would wind up like this, though."

San Fernando did show some fight after falling behind, 27-0. Major Caldwell fumbled a kickoff, then returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.

After Hargrove's second touchdown run, Caldwell scored on runs of 35 and eight yards to pull San Fernando within 34-22 in the second quarter.

Third-string tailback Justin Graham scored for the Conquistadores on an eight-yard run on the next possession, as the Conquistadores took a 42-22 lead at halftime.

Then it got even uglier for the Tigers. Caldwell fumbled in the first play of the second half and Jonathan Graham hit Kenton Morris with a 26-yard touchdown pass. This from a team that had completed only five passes in its first three games.

Then Larry Brown, fighting an leg injury, had a pass intercepted by Ruel Samuels, which El Camino Real converted into a 11-yard run by Jonathan Graham. El Camino Real led, 56-22, and cleared the bench the rest of the game.

Caldwell gained 111 yards in 17 carries before leaving the game midway through the third quarter. Brown was five of 11 for 58 yards and two interceptions.

The loss may prove to be a sobering reality check for San Fernando, which barely won nonconference games against University and Grant, neither one of whom made the playoffs last year.

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