Coach Phil McCune was concerned after Ventura was swamped by Buena in a regular-season finale, 49-28, ruining the Cougars chances for an undefeated season and a Channel League Championship.
But Ventura (10-1) rebounded with a 56-8 victory over Oxnard in the first round of the Division IV playoffs after having beaten the Yellowjackets, 21-20, in a midseason game.
Tyler Ebell scored six touchdowns and the Cougars rolled up 506 total yards.
"Our kids were awesome," McCune said. "It was a tribute to them to come back like that."
On Friday night, the Cougars play No. 3-seeded Arroyo Grande, which has won two consecutive section championships.
"The road down this thing is not getting any easier," McCune said. "But a lot of people wish they could be playing this week."
There will be rematch between Buena and Newbury Park. Will there be a different outcome?
Buena (10-1) defeated the Panthers in the third game of the season, 28-14. The Bulldogs, however, will see a changed Newbury Park team Friday in a Southern Section Division IV quarterfinal at Ventura High.
When the teams first met, Newbury Park (7-4) was still adjusting to the loss of quarterback Chris Lombardo, who broke his leg the previous game and was done for the season.
Since then, the Panthers have become a balanced team with Marcus Crawford rushing for 1,616 yards and Cameron Merrill passing for 24 touchdowns.
While Buena struggled in a 17-10 victory over Moorpark last Friday, Newbury Park handled Righetti with surprising ease, 47-21.
Suddenly, a rematch doesn't necessarily mean a rerun.
"That's your worst nightmare," said Coach Rick Scott of Buena. "It's hard to beat a team twice. And they're playing really well. They're feeling pretty good about themselves."