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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | NOTEBOOK / NEWBURY
PARK vs. WESTLAKE

Foli Takes Toll on Westlake Ballcarriers

Linebacker inspires Newbury Park fans by wreaking havoc with his physical play against Warriors.

October 16, 1998|ERIC SONDHEIMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

THOUSAND OAKS — "Foli, Foli, Foli," the Newbury Park High fans chanted in the third quarter.

How many times does a linebacker/offensive guard inspire a crowd to call out his name in unison?

If you're name is Anthony Foli, it's for good reason. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Foli pushed around Westlake players from start to finish Thursday night in the Panthers' 32-25 Marmonte League victory.

"Foli was the difference," Panther Coach George Hurley said. "I think he physically intimidated everybody on the field. Foli is a man."

Whether throwing ballcarriers to the turf or blitzing up the middle and sacrificing his body with flips through the air, Foli made life miserable for Westlake quarterback Zac Wasserman, who had five passes intercepted.

"It was crazy," Foli said. "It was the most intense game I've been in in my life."

Newbury Park's defense came through again and again. But it was Foli's third-quarter interception that set up Ryan Shipton's one-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers on top, 18-17.

"That was the turning point," Hurley said.

There were plenty of defensive stars for both teams. Eric Sanford of Newbury Park had an interception and twice sacked Wasserman. Sophomore defensive back Ryan Foltz of Westlake twice deflected passes in the fourth quarter to halt potential Newbury Park drives.

Westlake sorely missed All-American tight end Mike Seidman, who was sidelined after suffering a hip pointer early in the third quarter.

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Westlake has sent its share of players to NCAA Division I-A schools in recent years, and don't be surprised if 6-5, 300-pound junior offensive tackle Keith Holt one day joins the list.

He hasn't surrendered a sack in six games and is only going to become stronger and more experienced.

"I'll tell you what, he's good," said Westlake line coach John Kidder, who played at UCLA.

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It figured that Erik Affholter, who set a national record by kicking a 64-yard field goal in 1982 when he attended Oak Park High, is working his magic as an assistant coach at Westlake.

His star pupil is junior kicker Drew Thomas, who kicked a 41-yard field goal in the first half and twice kicked off into the end zone.

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When Westlake safety Kevin Howard slammed into Newbury Park receiver Tyler Johnson, it was a reunion of former teammates. Howard and Johnson played for Conejo Valley's Big League World championship baseball team last summer.

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