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Lompoc Gets Westlake on Run

Division IV: Without injured linebacker Lorier, defending champion Warriors can't stop Braves' rushing attack, 31-24.


WESTLAKE VILLAGE — It involved a potted plant, a sprained ankle and high-school hi-jinks.

And it served as a harbinger for a surprisingly early end to Westlake High's playoff run.

The news that greeted Coach Jim Benkert when he arrived at Westlake Friday morning was not good.

His middle linebacker, Devin Lorier, would not play against Lompoc's run-oriented misdirection offense because he twisted an ankle trying to leap over a potted plant at a shopping mall on Thanksgiving.

Benkert rolled his eyes. This was not good. Not at all.

Things only got worse for the Warriors during a 31-24 loss to Lompoc in a Southern Section Division IV quarterfinal Friday night at Westlake.

Westlake allowed 402 yards, including 321 on the ground, and surrendered two long touchdowns in the place where they were weakened . . . up the middle.

On the first play of the game, Anthony Alonzo squirted through a hole in the left side and went untouched for a 73-yard touchdown.

Westlake evened the score within two minutes on a seven-yard run by Jon Contos, but Lompoc had already made its point--the mighty Warriors were not invincible.

Alonzo ripped off another long touchdown run, a 58-yarder, midway through the third quarter, and quarterback Andrew Jones supplied the game-breaker, a 32-yard option keeper to the left side that broke a 24-24 tie with 1:05 left.

Jones' run was set up by Mike Velasquez's interception of Todd Feiereisen's pass at the Westlake 39.

Alonzo finished with 225 yards and three touchdowns in 28 carries, bringing down the curtain on Westlake (10-2), which won the Division IV championship last season.

"They came after us and we couldn't stop them between the tackles," said Westlake Coach Jim Benkert, who reminded his team throughout the week that Lompoc spent a few weeks as the No. 1-ranked team in the division.

Furthermore, he cautioned, the Braves (10-2) were without their top two linemen in their losses to San Luis Obispo and Righetti.

The linemen were backand they carried out the game plan to perfection.

Run. Run. Run.

"The team that beat them earlier was Clovis West, and we saw on tape what they did," Jones said. "All they did was run the ball."

Westlake had trouble on offense, mustering only 250 yards--125 running--and committing four turnovers.

"It's been a great run," Benkert said. "It's been great for a long time. It's a disappointing situation."

The game was halted for nearly 20 minutes when Westlake defensive back Chris Cannon was injured while pursuing a screen play late in the second quarter.

Cannon suffered a concussion, Benkert said, and was coherent by the time an ambulance arrived to take him to Los Robles Hospital.

Lompoc plays Ventura (11-1) next Friday or Saturday.

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