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FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

Trick Play Catching On With Teams

September 22, 1998

Brent Newcomb has been coaching high school football since 1965.

"And never in my career has anyone run [the fumblerooski] against me," the Antelope Valley High coach said.

That streak ended Friday night, when Sylmar guard Juan Rodriguez rumbled 23 yards to set up a touchdown in the teams' 14-14 intersectional tie at Sylmar.

The fumblerooski has been around football almost as long as goal posts, but the play has enjoyed recent popularity thanks to the success enjoyed by St. Francis.

"I'm going to call [St. Francis Coach] Bill Redell and cuss him out," Newcomb said. "He's got everyone in the world running that play now."

That includes Crescenta Valley, which played against St. Francis last week. The play was unsuccessful.

Still streaking: Moorpark High will attempt to tie a Ventura County record with its 16th consecutive victory Friday, when the Musketeers host Channel Islands. Newbury Park set the record by going 14-0 in 1993 and winning its first two games in 1994.

Last season, Moorpark won 13 in a row en route to the Southern Section Division X title after losing its opener.

The Musketeers moved up from the Frontier to the Marmonte League, but defeated former Frontier foes Nordhoff and Santa Paula in nonleague games to begin this season.

Channel Islands, which moved from the Marmonte to the Pacific View League, is 0-2 after losses to Harvard-Westlake and St. Bonaventure.

A victory would put Moorpark in position of setting the record in its first Marmonte game at Simi Valley (0-2) on Oct. 2.

Celt returns: Crespi running back Blake Tibbetts said he likely will play Friday at Lancaster.

Tibbetts sat out the Celts' victory over Quartz Hill last week because of a sprained right ankle.

Trench work: Buena has gotten help from an unexpected source in its first two games: the defensive line.

Entering the season, Bulldog Coach Rick Scott considered his linebackers and secondary as defensive strengths. The unit has 12 sacks and has been led by linemen Ethan Drury and Brian Sausaurio and Brandon Faumuina, who alternates between defensive end and linebacker.

Scott said Drury "spent the night in the Rio Mesa backfield" last week, causing two fumbles and recording 2.5 sacks and eight tackles. Sausaurio had eight tackles and Faumuina has three sacks, a blocked punt and a blocked field goal.

Getting defensive: Canoga Park is quickly establishing itself as the Miami Dolphins of the region.

The Hunters, one of only six undefeated City Section teams in the region, rank 15th of 17 regional City schools in offense, averaging just under 200 yards a game.

Like Miami, which is 3-0 despite a lackluster offense that ranks among the NFL's least productive, Canoga Park's defense has forged a 2-0 start.

Canoga Park, which has outscored opponents, 28-13, ranks No. 2 defensively behind Granada Hills among regional City teams, allowing 155 yards a game.

Ready to ride: Jimmy Perry and Drew Welch, running backs for Canyon, are both on the mend and expected to play Friday against Crescenta Valley, Coach Larry Mohr said.

Perry, the tailback, rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys' 17-0 victory over Highland on Friday, but left midway through the third quarter after getting knocked unconscious.

Welch, the fullback, had 107 yards in six carries in Canyon's 23-13 victory over Camarillo in week one. He sprained his ankle and missed the Highland game.

"He could have played, but we didn't need him," Mohr said.

Add Canyon: Canyon linebacker David Johnson has been impressive in the first two weeks, accounting for 14 tackles in each game.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound senior was instrumental in the Cowboys' victory over Highland, helping limit the Bulldogs to fewer than 80 rushing yards before the second-string took over.

"He's been outstanding," Mohr said. "He's not getting enough recognition."

A three-year starter, Johnson is a two-time all-league selection.

Faking it: In past years, Rio Mesa didn't even practice fake punt plays, but the Spartans have used them for three first downs in four attempts this season.

Coach George Contreras gave the green light when he saw the accurate decisions upback Pancho Tinoco made on whether opposing defenses were susceptible for deception.

"Our approach is that the rules say you have four chances to get a first down," he said. "It's probably the best part of our offense."

A bonus is that as teams have become wary of fakes, they have put little pressure on punter Kevin Mack, who is averaging more than 40 yards.

"We win either way," Contreras said.

Hard lessons: Learning on the job as a varsity quarterback is a tough assignment, as Oxnard's Louis Williams is finding out.

Williams, a 5-9, 170-pound junior, has thrown for 266 yards and two touchdowns and has had seven passes intercepted. The Yellowjackets (0-2) have lost both games with less than a minute to play.

"[Williams] is still learning on his reads," Oxnard Coach Wes Morimune. "We have four great receivers, but with his inexperience we can't take advantage of it."

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