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Garcia's Running Speaks Volumes

Marmonte: Senior scores three touchdowns and unbeaten Moorpark defeats Agoura, 26-3.

October 10, 1998|DAVID WHARTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

AGOURA — The best way to stop Art Garcia is to ask him about his running style. He hesitates a moment.

"I can't describe it," Garcia said. "I just keep going forward."

Precisely.

The Moorpark High running back just kept going forward against Agoura, scoring three touchdowns to lead his team to a 26-3 victory in a Marmonte League game Friday night.

Garcia struck early, scoring on a 95-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. And he struck often, carrying 25 times for 155 yards and touchdown runs of 14 and eight yards.

"He's not exactly a hard-nosed runner," Agoura linebacker Ryan Antzoulatos said. "But if you give him a little bit of a hole, he'll break it open on you."

The victory increased Moorpark's unbeaten streak to 18 games--extending a Ventura County record set last week--and kept the Musketeers (5-0, 2-0 in league play) tied for the league lead in their first Marmonte season.

Still, the victory wasn't as easy as the score might suggest.

Agoura (2-3, 0-2) got off to a quick start, moving 49 yards in 10 plays on its first possession. When the drive stalled, Danny Brockdorf kicked a 27-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

Garcia answered immediately with his dazzling return, fielding the ball at the five-yard line, swinging right and streaking untouched up the sideline.

After that, the game settled into a grinding, hard-fought affair.

The Moorpark defense got tougher as outside linebacker Gail Martin found his way into the Agoura backfield repeatedly. Martin had two sacks that killed an Agoura drive in the second quarter.

Antzoulatos, who also plays running back, was held to 55 yards in 16 carries. Quarterback Alex LaFazia completed five of 15 passes for 40 yards with an interception.

"We just weren't clicking tonight," Antzoulatos said. "We were missing blocks. We were giving them good field position."

But Moorpark was unable to put the game away in the second and third quarters as Agoura limited the Musketeers to field goals by Brian Orta of 28 and 32 yards.

Garcia took a rest for part of the third quarter, giving way to Art Lopez, who carried 14 times for 84 yards. Going into the fourth quarter, the score was 13-3.

That's when Garcia turned it on.

First he pounded and bounced for a 14-yard touchdown up the middle. Then he used a burst of speed to reach the end zone on an eight-yard sweep. That gave him 12 touchdowns this season.

"I don't know," he said, contemplating his success. "I just try to gain yards."

All it took was a few small holes. Just enough for the 5-foot-7, 150-pound senior to dart through.

As Moorpark Coach Ron Wilford said, "Good things come in small packages."

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