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SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL ROUNDUP

Moorpark Breaks It Open Late

October 19, 2002|John Ortega; Lauren Peterson; Eric Sondheimer; Mark Alai; Steve Galluzzo; Paul McLeod; James Lee

Moorpark scored two touchdowns in the game's final 1 minute 25 seconds to take over a close contest and roll past Simi Valley Royal, 35-14, in a Marmonte League game Friday night at Royal.

Cody Holland's 81-yard interception return for a touchdown with 20 seconds to play gave Moorpark (6-0 overall, 3-0 in league) its final margin of victory and came 65 seconds after wide receiver Dennis Pitta caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Eddie Garcia on a third-and-20 play.

Pitta's catch capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive that followed Cory Swenson's interception of a Kyle Uebelhardt pass intended for Nick Pinneri. Pinneri was open for a moment, but Swenson tipped the ball and came down with it in the back of the end zone.

Uebelhardt had passed for 1,311 yards and 14 touchdowns in the first five games of the season but was only 16 of 46 for 189 yards against a strong Moorpark defense that had four interceptions.

Garcia completed 10 of 19 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns and running back Anthony Lopez gained 106 yards in 16 carries for Moorpark, No. 9 in the Southern Section Division IV rankings.

John Ortega

Antelope Valley 35, Highland 6 -- Johnny Walker rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead the Antelopes (5-1, 1-0) in a Golden League opener at Highland.

Walker scored on runs of 29 and 14 yards in the first quarter and Antelope Valley took a 20-0 lead only 8 minutes 30 seconds into the game.

Walker completed a 23-yard pass play to Eric Wickliffe for a touchdown to make the score 28-6 with 1:04 left in the half, one play after Wickliffe intercepted a pass by Highland quarterback Gary Rosales.

Walker finished with 70 yards rushing and completed three of five passes for 38 yards.

Antelope Valley, No. 4 in Division III, also got 51 yards in 11 carries from Aaron Wilson and Sean Wallace contributed 48 yards in two carries, including a 49-yard touchdown run.

Kris Theus rushed for 76 yards in 22 carries for Highland (4-2, 0-1), No. 9 in Division III, which got its only points when John Keith scored on a one-yard run with 4:47 to go in the half.

Lauren Peterson

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 33, Santa Fe Springs St. Paul 10 -- With junior tailback Brandon Clayton scoring three first-half touchdowns, host Notre Dame (6-0, 1-0) opened a 20-3 halftime lead and was never threatened in its Mission League opener.

St. Paul (2-3-1, 0-1) was supposed to offer the Knights their strongest challenge among the schools left on their regular-season schedule, but a 10-0 record is looking very possible.

On defense, Notre Dame, is receiving dominating play from tackle Alex Puccinelli, who was offered a scholarship to Oregon last week. He consistently penetrated into the St. Paul backfield, disrupting the running game and leaving quarterback Kevin Davies with little time to pass.

Notre Dame, No. 20 in The Times' rankings and No. 3 in Division III, had five sacks, including two by Puccinelli, who has 12 on the season. On offense, quarterback Marcel Marquez is running the option to perfection. He completed six of seven passes for 59 yards and one touchdown.

Adam Weber blocked two punts and Anthony Piedra recovered a fumbled punt. Clayton rushed for 88 yards in 18 carries and scored on runs of 13, one and 13 yards.

Eric Sondheimer

La Habra 14, Fullerton 6 -- Quarterback Daniel Morales rushed and threw for second-quarter touchdowns to help the Highlanders (5-1, 1-0) pick up the victory in a Freeway League opener at La Habra.

Morales scored on a five-yard run with 8:42 left in the half for a 7-0 lead for the Highlanders, No. 2 in Division IX.

Quarterback Joseph Echaves also scored from five yards out with two minutes left in the half, but the point-after kick was wide and Fullerton trailed, 7-6.

Morales wasted no time, connecting with Tony Magana on a five-yard pass play for the game's final score as time expired in the half.

Despite four second-half turnovers by La Habra, Fullerton (4-2, 0-1), ranked No. 1 in Division IX, was unable to muster any kind of offense, gaining less than 50 yards after halftime.

Richard Correa carried 23 times for 114 yards for La Habra, and Morales was 11 of 22 for 121 yards with three interceptions.

Echaves was 14 of 25 for 147 yards for Fullerton.

Mark Alai

Manhattan Beach Mira Costa 42, Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula 0 -- Michael Okwo rushed for 156 yards and four touchdowns in 14 carries for the Mustangs, who built a 35-0 lead by halftime of a Bay League opener at Mira Costa.

Peter Dobush completed four of six passes for 98 yards for No. 9 Mira Costa (6-0, 1-0), including a 51-yard pass to Nick Haley on the first play from scrimmage to set up Okwo's two-yard touchdown run.

Haley caught three passes for 82 yards, intercepted a pass and returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown.

Okwo's 46-yard touchdown run with 6:02 left in the half gave Mira Costa, No. 1 in the Division III rankings, a 28-0 lead.

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