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Venice Is Stopped Short, 28-27

September 28, 2002|Lauren Peterson; Ben Bolch; Mayar Zokaei

A possible game-winning two-point conversion run with no time left on the clock by Venice High quarterback Eddie Miller came up short and Santa Monica held on for a 28-27 intersectional victory at Venice on Friday night.

Miller, who ran around right end on the conversion attempt, appeared to have stretched the ball over the goal line with his right arm, but officials ruled otherwise.

The conversion attempt came after the Gondoliers got within the final margin on a 26-yard scoring pass from Miller to Antwuan Giddens as time expired.

"It was a great game," Venice Coach Angelo Gasca said. "We knew we were going to go for two. We came to win and we took our chance, but I'm proud of my guys."

Santa Monica players were proud of themselves as well.

The Vikings hung on thanks largely to senior running back Adrian Gonzalez, who finished with 162 yards and three touchdowns in 23 carries.

After Venice rallied to take its first lead, 21-20, on a 21-yard touchdown reception by B.J. Vickers with 3:57 left, Gonzalez gave the Vikings the lead on a 19-yard touchdown run four plays later with 2:06 to play.

He also scored the Vikings' first two touchdowns on runs of one and 30 yards in the first half, when Santa Monica took a 20-7 lead.

The performance was especially satisfying for Gonzalez, who has two older brothers who graduated from Venice.

"That was incredible," Gonzalez said. "I had one of my brothers watching on the Venice side. I love the challenge. I was really pushing for this."

Lauren Peterson

Santa Margarita 5, L.A. Dorsey 0--Senior linebacker Dustin Slinkard forced and recovered a fumble late in the first half of Santa Margarita's victory at Saddleback College, setting up the only score the Eagles would need in improving to 3-0 for the first time since 1998.

The senior standout stripped the ball from Dorsey quarterback Donald Prince and recovered it at the Dons' 24-yard line with four seconds left in the first half.

Backup kicker Joe Ramsay then converted a 42-yard field goal that barely cleared the crossbar to give Santa Margarita a 3-0 lead as time expired. Starting kicker Will Johnson missed his second consecutive game after suffering an allergic reaction to flu medication

The Eagles, No. 7 in The Times' rankings, scored their other two points midway through the fourth quarter when defensive end Josh Thornberg sacked Prince in the Dorsey end zone. Slinkard preserved the victory by intercepting a Prince pass at the Santa Margarita 18 with 33 seconds to play.

"Defensively, we did what we had to do," said Eagle Coach Jim Hartigan, whose team recorded its lowest-scoring victory since beginning varsity competition in 1989. "We're 3-0 and I'll take the win. But we've got to improve on offense."

Ashton White, held out much of the second and fourth quarters after taking a hit to the knee, finished with 106 yards in 21 carries but had his string of 13 consecutive games with a touchdown snapped.

White's inability to score was a result of Dorsey's stingy defense, which sacked quarterback Case Colaw four times and held tight every time Santa Margarita ventured deep into Don territory.

"You can't ask for a better effort than our guys gave," Dorsey Coach Paul Knox said. "Nobody thought we could hold this team to no touchdowns. We just couldn't move the ball consistently enough."

Running back Jody Rucks was the lone offensive star for the Dons (1-2), gaining 80 yards in 17 carries.

Ben Bolch

Encino Crespi 20, Chatsworth 7--The Celts fell behind late in the first quarter but scored 20 unanswered points as they dominated the second half at Chatsworth.

Randle Harris rushed for 120 yards in 15 carries for Crespi (3-0), which held Chatsworth to 14 yards rushing in the second half.

Chatsworth's Robert Landrum rushed 18 times for 139 yards and scored on a five-yard run with 56 seconds left in the first quarter to give Chatsworth (2-1) a 7-0 lead. Landrum rushed for 116 yards in the first half.

David Barrantes of Crespi intercepted Jason Moss' pass and returned it 23 yards for a score early in the second quarter and quarterback Michael Hart scored on a two-yard run three minutes before halftime to give the Celts a 14-7 lead. Sean Sehnem kicked field goals of 19 and 22 yards in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

Mayar Zokaei

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