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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | JC NOTEBOOK

Campbell Gets Into Winning Circulation

September 12, 2000|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ

Travis Campbell has been here, there and everywhere so far this season for Cal State Northridge.

Here: Campbell, a sophomore safety from Westlake High, intercepts a pass and races 44 yards for a touchdown for the Matadors' first score in a 19-13 overtime victory Saturday at Southwest Texas State.

There: Campbell picks up a Southwest Texas State fumble and returns it 41 yards to the 23-yard line, but most of the return is wiped out by a penalty.

Everywhere: Campbell has a team-high 18 tackles against Air Force and ranks second on the team with 22.

"Travis is meeting and exceeding expectations early," Northridge Coach Jeff Kearin said.

Campbell and the Matadors will stay home for three weeks, beginning Saturday with a Big Sky Conference opener against Northern Arizona at North Campus Stadium.

Northridge (1-1) enters its final season in the Big Sky on a much-needed high note after coming from behind to beat Southwest Texas on a field soaked by a first-half downpour. The Matadors are banned from postseason play this fall and far from a favorite to contend for the conference title.

But nothing has dampened Campbell's enthusiasm. He had a second interception nullified by a penalty and was flagged for pass interference on a close call in which he collided with the receiver too early.

"We played our [butts] off," Campbell said. "That was the first game I ever played in the rain. It was great."

Credit Campbell and the Northridge secondary for the lion's share of the victory against the Bobcats. Safety Martin Bacon, a transfer from Chaffey College, caused the fumble Campbell returned with a crushing tackle on Tyson Olivo after a completion over the middle.

Bacon came through again in overtime, intercepting a pass on third down to set up Northridge's winning score.

Karalus Doyle, Cory Oggs and Isaac Gardner have been in on the tackling too.

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Receiver Drew Amerson will be examined today after straining his right knee while returning a kick Saturday.

Jason Stone helped fill the void by leading Northridge with four catches. Stone, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound junior, made some nice catches, including one for 16 yards and a first down in the Matadors' game-tying drive.

Stone, a graduate of Dos Pueblos High, transferred to Northridge from Santa Barbara City College after an unhappy season at San Diego State.

Freshman Jamaal Perry (5-10, 160) is diminutive but both his catches against Southwest Texas were big. Perry's leaping grab of a Marcus Brady pass in overtime gave Northridge a first down at the one. Two plays later, Bruce Molock ran for the winning score.

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Molock, a freshman from Antelope Valley High, came through in the clutch, not only with the winning score but also a 27-yard touchdown run that tied the score, 13-13, with seven minutes to play.

But the Matadors' running back situation is a concern.

Brady, in fact, might be the Matadors' best ballcarrier. He led Northridge with 61 yards rushing in 10 carries against Southwest Texas. Brady scrambled from the pocket for a 25-yard gain and had several carries by design that were well executed.

Molock spent most of the game on the bench with leg cramps. He rushed for 58 yards in 15 carries. Terrelus Wright gained 29 yards in 10 carries but lost a fumble for the second time in as many games.

Molock and Wright have had trouble finding holes against strong defensive fronts. Fullback Crayton Milton did not record a carry against Southwest Texas.

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