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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Newbury Park Prepares Bend, Don't Break Defense

October 12, 2000|MIKE BRESNAHAN

The bend in the road has been long and unpredictable for Newbury Park High, but the most intriguing wrinkle in the Panthers' journey won't happen until this weekend.

The Panthers (2-3), who could use a change of scenery, will get one Saturday when they play at Bend High in Oregon, their fifth consecutive road game.

The Panthers leave Friday, fly into Portland and take a 3 1/2-hour bus ride to Bend.

The teams found each other when Newbury Park posted on the Internet that it had an open date in the sixth week of the season.

Newbury Park, which lost last week to Agoura for the first time since 1992, is hoping that Bend, whose nickname is the Lava Bears, might be a more gentle host than the Chargers.

"It's fun for the kids," Newbury Park Coach George Hurley said. "It might be tough for me [to plan], but it's fun for them."

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Among running backs in the region with more than 35 carries, the highest average per carry belongs to . . . Tyler Ebell?

Nope.

Lorenzo Booker?

Guess again.

The distinction goes to Greg Morris of Royal, who has rushed for 518 yards in 36 carries, an average of 14.4 yards.

Morris, who has scored eight touchdowns, has a higher average than Ebell (13.2) of Ventura and Booker (13.4) of St. Bonaventure.

"That's pretty good company," Royal Coach Gene Uebelhardt said. "I should probably give him the ball more often."

Morris' average vaulted above the rest with an eight-carry, 205-yard performance Friday against Rio Mesa.

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