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The Ebell Show Just Keeps Moving On

Division IV: Ventura running back gains 354 yards to break season state rushing record and help Cougars beat Royal, 38-21.


SIMI VALLEY — Catch him if you can.

Folks stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidelines at Royal High to watch Tyler Ebell break the season state rushing record. The Ventura senior did not disappoint, racking up 354 yards and four touchdowns in 43 carries.

Catch him while you can.

Ebell will have at least one more game to increase his total of 3,899 yards because Ventura defeated Royal, 38-21, Friday night in a Southern Section Division IV quarterfinal.

Catch him early or not at all.

Ebell was held to 128 yards in the first half and spirited Royal led, 14-10. But Ebell and his punishing offensive line were relentless in the second half, wearing down the Highlanders.

Ebell's 70-yard touchdown run with 7:23 to play extended Ventura's lead to 31-21 and was an eye-opener. It was also a back-breaker and a must-see addition to Ebell's personal highlight reel.

He burst around left end, cut back and was corralled by three defenders. But Ebell proved as quick as e-mail, changing direction at full speed and leaving the trio of Highlanders grasping at air.

Royal (7-4-1) was blasted by Ventura, 34-0, nine weeks ago. The Highlanders had a better game plan, more intensity and played well. But there is no way to prepare for a runner like Ebell.

"That was just what I do," he said. "It was hard to be motivated because we beat them so bad last time. They got better, they had schemes on defense, but my line got stronger in the second half."

Take a bow tackles Casey Andrews and Jason Gruber, guards Kris Vasquez and Brandon Bailey, center Bill Griffin, tight end Bryan Easterly and fullback Victor Holmes.

"It's our record," Ebell said.

Ebell obliterated the state mark of 3,586 set last season by Jermaine Marshall of Kilpatrick. With 6,789 career yards, he also broke the Ventura County rushing record of Buena's George Keiaho (6,615) and the region mark of Valencia's Manuel White (6,745).

Ebell moved to No. 3 on the national career list, 188 yards behind record-holder Travis Henry (4,087) of Frostproof, Fla.

Ebell got the state record on a 38-yard, bob-and-weave 6:57 into the game. It was his longest run in the first half. Another 38 yards and a touchdown were nullified by two penalties.

Royal came out with great intensity and struck first on a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown by outside linebacker Mike Carr.

Ventura (11-1) roared back on its next possession, marching 57 yards for a touchdown. Ebell set up the score with his record-breaking run and dove in from the one to tie the score, 7-7.

The Highlanders took a 14-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter on a 17-yard reception by Robert Davis from James Cox, who was 10 of 19 passing for 138 yards.

Ebell scored from 30 yards with 5:50 to play in the third quarter to give Ventura a 17-14 lead, and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Lovier to Sean McNairy on the last play of the quarter extended the lead to 24-14.

Royal refused to lie down. A reverse on the kick return gave the Highlanders possession at midfield and they scored in four plays, with Cox hitting Ryan Keys from 32 yards for a touchdown.


Ebell Watch

Tyler Ebell of Ventura rushed for 354 yards Friday night against Royal to break the state season rushing record set last year by Jermaine Marshall of Kilpatrick. A look at Ebell's season:


Opponent Att. Yds. Avg. TD Simi Valley 12 330 27.5 4 Moorpark 26 375 14.4 5 Royal 21 308 14.8 4 Arroyo Grande 44 393 8.9 6 Oxnard 32 379 11.8 5 Buena 34 240 7.1 3 San Marcos 19 361 19.0 6 Dos Pueblos 22 351 16.0 6 Santa Barbara 24 365 15.2 4 Hueneme 24 239 10.0 4 Righetti 33 204 6.2 5 Royal 43 354 8.2 4 Totals 334 3,899 11.7 56



A look at the top 10 single-season rushers in state history:


Player, School Years Yards Tyler Ebell, Ventura 2000 3,899 Jermaine Marshall, Kilpatrick 1999 3,586 David Dotson, Valley View 1991 3,523 John Bordenkircher, Dixon 1997 3,416 DeShaun Foster, Tustin 1997 3,398 Chris Hanks, L.A. Cathedral 1997 3,263 Oscar Arzu, Sierra Vista 1996 3,219 Onterrio Smith, Sacto Grant 1998 3,125 Justin Fargas, Notre Dame 1997 2,970 T.J. Bird, Cloverdale 1997 2,868




Ventura High running back Tyler Ebell's game-by-game yards and the top 10 state rushers. D15

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