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Valley / Ventura County Sports

This Time Belongs to Valley in Rivalry

September 17, 1998

Get ready for the latest mismatch between Pierce and Valley colleges.

The 31st meeting between the San Fernando Valley's junior college football teams will take place Saturday at Pierce at 4 p.m.

The Brahmas, mired in a 29-game losing streak, switched from night home games to late-afternoon kickoffs as part of a new approach this season.

But the more things change. . . .

Pierce last week blew an 18-point lead in the second half of its opener and lost to San Diego Mesa, 21-18.

The Brahmas' losing streak is the second-longest in the nation behind Coahoma College of Clarksdale, Miss., which has lost 30 consecutive games.

Valley, which had an opening-week bye, is ranked 14th in the state.

Valley Coach Gary Barlow attended Pierce's opener, undoubtedly making copious mental notes of the Brahmas' lack of depth.

Valley has about 70 players. Pierce has 36.

"One thing you have to say about them is that they played with a lot of effort," Barlow said. "And they've got a game under their belt while we haven't played."

Don't count on a swing of the pendulum soon. Pierce holds a 16-14 series lead but Valley has defeated the Brahmas in five consecutive meetings by a combined score of 241-111, including a 44-21 victory last season and 80-20 drubbing in 1996.

A rivalry that warranted live local television coverage in 1965 and has included several memorable games likely will remain lopsided--at least, for another season.

"We practice hard, but we just don't have the depth," said Calvin Zinck, Pierce's quarterback. "We're thinking we can turn this thing around, but it won't be easy."

*

Barlow finally named a starting quarterback, freshman Travis Winn from Chatsworth High.

Winn won a four-way battle that included freshmen Mike Adams and Eric Holtfreter, and left-handed sophomore Todd McLean.

Winn, who passed for 1,229 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior at Chatsworth in 1996, will start against Pierce, but the race remains close.

*

With a roster depleted by graduation and transfers, Bill Oates, men's basketball coach at The Master's is reaching outside the country for reinforcements.

Oates just signed eight recruits, including three foreign players, to go with five returners.

The newcomers include Antonio Simpson, a 6-foot-1 guard who helped Los Angeles City College to the state championship in 1997. Simpson didn't play last season.

"He's kind of unique because he played on state championship teams at Crenshaw [High] and at L.A. City," Oates said.

The foreign players are freshmen Anthony Basaba, a 6-8 center from Uganda; Bas Van Rhee, a 6-6 forward from Holland, and Dwight O'Garro, a 6-6 guard from Trinidad and Tobago.

*

Cal Lutheran held again and again in a 20-14 double-overtime loss to Pacific Lutheran on Saturday.

Overcoming the disappointment of six missed field goals, the Kingsmen held fast until surrendering the winning touchdown on a one-yard run.

Outside linebacker Jake Halas, a 6-1, 200-pound senior linebacker, had three sacks, an interception and a play so spectacular Coach Scott Squires described it as "picture perfect."

On a blitz, Halas hurdled the running back who tried to block him and while in midair grabbed quarterback Chad Johnson, tackling him and forcing a fumble.

Ryan Geisler, a sophomore from Camarillo High who missed all six field-goal attempts, was considered one of the best Division III kickers in the nation.

The consensus on Cal Lutheran's sideline was his first kick was good, but the officials disagreed. Geisler's second kick, from 54 yards, was short, but Squires said several others were very close.

*

The California Community College state football championship game is scheduled for Dec. 12 at Sacramento City College.

The game was created last season. Mt. San Antonio defeated San Francisco City College, 38-35, at Fullerton College.

Staff writers Fernando Dominguez, Steve Henson and Vince Kowalick contributed to this notes column.

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