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Keiaho KOs Ventura, 28-21

Channel League: Buena back gets 198 yards and three touchdowns, and Bulldogs hold Ebell 110 below his average.


VENTURA — He was his usual self, running with power and panache, mixing speed with swivels and spins.

When it was over, he had gained 198 yards, scored three touchdowns and led his team to a Channel League victory.

Tyler Ebell? He played pretty well, too, but running back Freddy Keiaho of Buena High was the star Friday night, leading the Bulldogs to a 28-21 victory over Ventura before an estimated crowd of 8,000 at Ventura High.

Keiaho committed to San Diego State earlier this week and then committed himself to 28 carries against Ventura, most of them the banging and bruising type.

When it was over, Keiaho had taken care of the offense and the Buena defense took care of Ebell, limiting the standout running back to 247 yards, 110 below his average.

It was a formula that gave Buena its sixth victory in seven years over Ventura.

The score was tied entering the fourth quarter, 21-21, when Buena went on a 15-play, 84-yard drive that ended on a one-yard touchdown keeper by quarterback Andrew Paulson.

On the drive, which lasted 6:43, Keiaho carried eight times for 38 yards.

Ventura (5-1, 0-1 in league play) advanced to midfield, but failed on fourth and six when Ebell was collared by Mike Peckfelder for a two-yard loss on a pitch left with 2:29 left.

"They've got a great player," Buena Coach Rick Scott said. "They've got a couple great players. But we've got a great team."

Buena (4-2, 1-0) took the inside track on its fourth consecutive league title.

Ventura came close, but it wasn't enough.

"We're out of the ranks of the unbeaten," Ventura Coach Phil McCune said. "We're not going to be [league] champions. They're going to be champions."

Ebell was held to three yards in the first quarter last year against Buena, a trend that came to an end. Quickly.

He had 68 yards in the first quarter, including an eight-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the game.

But Keiaho matched him touchdown for touchdown, knotting the game, 7-7, on a one-yard run with 10:22 left in the second quarter.

Ebell put Ventura up, 13-7, on a four-yard run around left end, three plays after he burst down the right sideline for a 50-yard gain. The extra point was wide left.

But Buena came back later in the quarter. So did Keiaho.

After Buena forced a fumble at the Cougars' 19-yard line, Keiaho scored two plays later on a tough eight-yard run, dragging tacklers into the end zone with 2:24 left until halftime.

The extra point was good, giving Buena a 14-13 halftime lead.

Ventura scored with 2:19 left in the third quarter on a six-yard run by Ebell, who also scored on an ensuing two-point conversion for a 21-14 lead.

But Ventura did not find the end zone again. The night belonged to Buena. And Keiaho.

"I don't care about yards," Keiaho said. "I don't care how many touchdowns I had. It's all about the fourth quarter."

With 38 seconds left in the third quarter, Keiaho bounced left on a draw play, found daylight down the left side and scored from 65 yards to tie the game, 21-21.

Then came the fourth quarter. And, ultimately, a Buena victory.


Ebell Watch

Tyler Ebell of Ventura is on pace to become the fourth player in state history to rush for 3,000 yards in a regular season. The others are David Dotson of Moreno Valley Valley View, John Bordenkircher of Dixon and Chris Hanks of Cathedral. The state record of 3,586 yards in 14 games by Jermaine Marshall of Kilpatrick is also within reach. 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 8.93 6 Oxnard 32 379 11.8 5 Buena 36 247 6.86 3 Totals 171 2,032 11.9 27




* Kennedy added speed when Charles Nettles returned from injury. Page 13


* Burroughs had five interceptions, three sacks in victory over Canyon. Page 14


* Kennedy's complicated offense led to an easy victory over Monroe. Page 14


* St. Bonaventure rolls past Calabasas to its 20th consecutive victory. Page 15


* Thousand Oaks beats Royal. Page 15

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