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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Waasdorp is Little Bear With Nose For Action

October 27, 1998|DAVID WHARTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The California Golden Bears know Jacob Waasdorp, their undersized nose tackle, plays bigger than he looks.

Now the UCLA Bruins know it, too.

At Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on Saturday, the 6-2, 250-pound lineman made several big defensive plays as Cal lost a hard-fought game to UCLA, 28-16.

Even though he was a force at Quartz Hill High, recording 80 or more tackles in his junior and senior seasons, the relatively diminutive Waasdorp was not expected to be an impact player for Cal.

Yet he has bulled his way into the starting lineup as a sophomore thanks to his nose for the ball.

Early in the first quarter against the Bruins, Waasdorp rumbled into the backfield and recovered a Cade McNown fumble on the two-yard line. The Golden Bears scored a touchdown on the next play.

Waasdorp was back at McNown in the second quarter, grabbing the quarterback by the ankle and forcing him to throw an incomplete pass on third down.

In the third quarter, Waasdorp knocked UCLA center Shawn Stuart, a 6-3, 300-pound Saugus alumnus, backward to thwart a run deep in Bruin territory.

As Cal Coach Tom Holmoe said of Waasdorp earlier this season: "He just makes plays."

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Waasdorp wasn't the only player from the region to have an impressive day on defense.

Jon Gibbs, an Agoura High alumnus, recorded 19 tackles (eight solo, 11 assists) for Dartmouth in a 14-11 loss to Cornell.

His numbers aren't surprising. The 6-2, 250-pound linebacker, a tri-captain for the Big Green, leads his team with 80 tackles and has an interception through six games.

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Brigham Young's Ronney Jenkins was chosen Western Athletic Conference player of the week after rushing for 250 yards and five touchdowns.

Jenkins set a national high school record while at Hueneme High, rushing for 619 yards and seven touchdowns in a 1995 game. His outburst in a 46-43 defeat of San Jose State on Saturday tied a school record for single-game scoring.

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Similarly, big things were expected of Justin Fargas, who made his debut as starting tailback for Michigan.

The former Notre Dame High standout earned his chance after coming into a game against Northwestern the previous week and running for 120 yards in rainy, muddy conditions.

But with a dry track against Indiana on Saturday, Fargas mustered only 36 yards in 12 carries. Teammate Anthony Thomas had 66 yards in 20 carries to help the Wolverines to a 21-10 victory.

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