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Valley / Ventura County Sports

Northwest Valley: Jones does a dance before he gets to the end zone with the winning touchdown against El Camino Real.

October 10, 1998|MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

GRANADA HILLS — It was barely perceptible, but it appeared Kennedy High tailback Jason Jones was doing a little dance even before he scored the winning touchdown in a 20-14 Northwest Valley Conference victory over El Camino Real on Friday night.

As the Golden Cougars approached the El Camino Real two-yard line facing third-and-goal with two minutes remaining, Jones shifted his legs back and forth and bobbed his head ever so slightly.

"I was ready," Jones said. "I was going in."

Jones had little trouble getting in the end zone, capping the comeback for the Golden Cougars (4-1, 2-0 in conference play) at Kennedy High.

The Conquistadores had one final chance, but quarterback Jonathan Graham, forced into a passing situation for the first time all season, couldn't deliver.

El Camino Real reached their 44 with the help of a pass interference call, before a long pass by Graham was intercepted by David Burney with under a minute left.

El Camino Real (2-2-1, 1-1) was coming in on a roll, having defeated San Fernando, 63-30, and rushing for more than 400 yards in its conference opener.

The Conquistadores gained 156 yards rushing in the first half, scoring on runs of 77 and one yard by DeAngelo Nedd to take a 14-6 lead into halftime.

But the Golden Cougars made several adjustments at the break, the biggest inserting 415-pound Andrew Malone and 300-pound Victor Arriola to clog the middle.

The Conquistadores were held to 24 yards rushing in the second half and never crossed midfield. Nedd had 92 of his 96 yards in the first half.

"The big kids did a great job," Kennedy Coach Bob Francola said.

Kennedy quarterback Ruben Zaragoza spent most of the first half avoiding blitzing linebackers or having Nedd--who had four pass deflections--knocking down his throws.

"That had never happened to me before," Zaragoza said. "We had to make some changes."

After throwing 20 passes in the first half, Zaragoza threw only six in the second. Instead, Kennedy turned to its tailback tandem of Jones and Jerome Williams.

Jones gained 54 of his 68 yards and Williams 36 of 69 in the half.

Kennedy pulled to within 14-12 when Jones dove into the end zone from the one on fourth and goal late in the third quarter but missed the two-point conversion.

The Golden Cougars relied on Jones on their game-winning, 66-yard drive, giving him the ball seven times. It didn't hurt that El Camino Real was called for having 12 men on the field and a late hit.

Zaragoza hit Viliami Langi on the two-point conversion.

Zaragoza completed 12 of 26 for 134 yards and threw his first pass interception of the season.

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