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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Paraclete Crushes Hopes of L.A. Baptist

November 04, 2000|STEVEN HERBERT | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LANCASTER — L.A. Baptist's hopes for a share of its first Alpha League championship since 1997 effectively ended in the first quarter Friday night.

Paraclete scored all the points it needed in the opening five minutes on Craig Herrera's 26- and 37-yard touchdown passes and two two-point conversion passes to Michael Washington in a 51-6 victory at Antelope Valley College.

The Spirits became the first team this season to hold the Knights under 30 points.

"We didn't put any new coverages in or any new fronts in," Paraclete Coach Jeff Cortez said. "We just played solid defense and tried to keep the ball in front of us."

L.A. Baptist Coach Gregg Frazer said his team "played terrible."

"It's the worst we've played all year," Frazer said, after the Knights fell to 7-2, 2-2 in league play.

Paraclete ran for 368 yards as L.A. Baptist's struggles against the run continued. The Knights entered Friday's play allowing 262.75 rushing yards per game.

Curtis Brown ran for 154 yards on 17 carries, including a 24-yard second-quarter touchdown, as the Spirits (8-1, 3-0) improved to 11-0 in Alpha League games since joining the league in 1998. Erick Jackson added 72 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, and Joe Martin had 89 yards on six carries, including a 36-yard fourth-quarter touchdown.

Paraclete's fast start and defense combined to hold L.A. Baptist standout Lord Cole to 31 yards on seven carries over the first three quarters. He added 59 yards on five fourth-quarter carries against the Spirits' second-string defense, finishing with 90 yards on 12 carries. Cole entered Friday's play ranked eighth among the region's Southern Section rushers, with 1,032 yards.

Ranked second in the Southern Section Division XII poll, Paraclete can assure itself of the league championship with a victory over Kilpatrick (4-4, 2-0) on Nov. 10. The Mustangs face Village Christian at Kennedy High at 7:30 tonight.

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