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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

El Camino Real Makes Late Run

Football: With backs ailing, Conquistadores use big plays to beat Chaminade, 13-7.

September 19, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

WEST HILLS — El Camino Real High, a few injuries away from throwing in the ballboy to play running back, came up with several important runs late in the fourth quarter.

And, as a result, the Conquistadores defeated Chaminade, 13-7, in a nonleague football game Friday night at Chaminade.

With its top two running backs out with injuries, third-stringer Justin Graham scored from three yards with 5:37 left to give El Camino Real its only lead of the game.

Starter DeAngelo Nedd, despite being sidelined nearly the entire fourth quarter with a pulled groin, gained a crucial first down three plays earlier for the Conquistadores.

Nedd used a strong second effort to barely pick up a first down on fourth-and-one from the Chaminade seven.

The tense measurement showed El Camino Real had the first down by about a quarter of an inch.

"I probably shouldn't have put him in there, but we needed the big play," El Camino Real Coach Rick Hayashida said.

They got it. Then the Conquistadores (1-0-1) got the touchdown from Graham, who finished with 81 yards in 11 carries.

For the second week in a row, Chaminade (0-2) was an inch shy.

Last week against Crespi, John Perry was stopped just short of the goal on a two-point conversion with 26 seconds left. The Eagles lost, 23-21.

"The breaks will start coming," Chaminade Coach Ed Croson said. "We've got to find a way to win. It's just a lot more fun."

On Chaminade's final drive, which began on its 26 with 1:11 left, Chris Canoles caught two passes for 45 yards and the Eagles moved to the El Camino Real 18-yard line with 26 seconds left.

But a pass to Canoles in the end zone on first down was broken up by Brandon Farley and intercepted by Ruel Samuels.

Canoles had 10 catches for 155 yards and the Eagles' touchdown.

"I've got to believe he's the best receiver I've seen in the Valley so far," Hayashida said.

It's generally a friendly rivalry--the two coaches exchanged video tapes at the home of Rick Hayashida's mother last Sunday--but it is closely contested, with the teams splitting the past six games.

Last year, El Camino Real outgained Chaminade, 249-20, forced six Chaminade fumbles and recorded a 15-0 shutout.

Canoles couldn't be stopped in the first half on Friday, catching five passes for 75 yards, including a 20-yard corner pattern that put Chaminade up, 7-0, in the first quarter.

El Camino Real answered on its next series, Graham scoring untouched on a 66-yard reverse.

Chaminade was also mystified by Nedd, who also plays linebacker for El Camino Real. He netted five first-half sacks for minus-32 yards.

El Camino Real finished with eight sacks.

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