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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL ROUNDUP

Carpenter Proves Tough as Nails in Westlake Win

September 20, 2003|Eric Sondheimer;Paul McLeod;Lauren Peterson

Let there be no doubt about the toughness and fire of Westlake Village Westlake quarterback Rudy Carpenter, who passed for 203 yards, ran for 57 yards and provided unyielding leadership in a 31-7 nonleague victory over defending Southern Section Division III champion Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Friday night.

Westlake (2-0), ranked No. 12 by The Times, scored 24 consecutive points in the second half after a 7-7 halftime tie to rout the seventh-ranked Knights (1-1), who were held to one first down in the final 24 minutes.

It's understandable why teams in the Marmonte League made such a commotion after Carpenter transferred last February from Newbury Park, where he was the league's top offensive player last season.

He's 6 feet 3, 190 pounds, fearless and relentless. He didn't seem fazed or bothered by Notre Dame's constant pass rush.

He scored one touchdown, passed for another and at one point tried to hurdle a Notre Dame defender. He raised his voice to shout at a Westlake teammate who didn't provide a block. He completed 16 of 25 passes, including a 15-yard touchdown to Marcus Maddocks.

"The thing he showed was a lot of competitiveness," Westlake Coach Jim Benkert said. "They brought everyone and he was back there making a lot of plays."

Westlake turned two fumbles and an interception deep in Notre Dame territory into touchdowns in the second half. The Knights, in losing for the first time since the 2001 season, could not pass the ball effectively at any point. Quarterbacks Jim Welker and Garrett Green were a combined three of 12 for 37 yards.

Green scored Notre Dame's only touchdown on a 91-yard run in the second quarter, the second-longest run in school history.

As if a game matching two top 25 teams wasn't enough motivation for the players, USC Coach Pete Carroll was standing beyond the end zone and on the sideline offering additional inspiration.

"It's a great game," Carroll said just after halftime.

Carroll was watching USC-bound tight end Jimmy Miller of Westlake, who had a sack and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass that was nullified because of a holding penalty.

Eric Sondheimer

*

Riverside North 28, Fontana Kaiser 7 -- Dion Morton passed for 149 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 8 North (2-0) in a nonleague game at Fontana High.

Damon Morton, Dion's twin, rushed for 24 yards, caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown and had 125 yards in returns, including a 94-yard run for a touchdown after a failed Kaiser field-goal attempt.

Running back Josh Barnett carried eight times for 80 yards and one touchdown for North, ranked No. 2 in Division V.

Rayvonne Gooden gained 98 yards in 22 carries for Kaiser (1-1), ranked No. 2 in Division VIII.

A 67-yard pass from Dion Morton to Damon Morton for an apparent touchdown on the first play of the game was called back because of a penalty. However, three plays later, Dion threw five yards to tailback E.J. Brown for a score.

Barnett added a touchdown on a three-yard run with 5:24 left in the half. Two minutes later, following his interception, Dion Morton gave North a 21-0 lead on a seven-yard pass to Deylan Marrow.

Paul McLeod

*

Hacienda Heights Los Altos 22, La Habra 13 -- Senior running back Randall Brown rushed for 131 yards and one touchdown in 21 carries, but it was a 28-yard scoring reception that sealed the nonleague victory for Los Altos with 4:29 left in a matchup of division champions at Los Altos.

Brown scored at the end of a three-play, 32-yard drive following a fumble by La Habra quarterback Daniel Morales to stretch the Conquerors' 15-13 edge to 21-13 midway through the fourth quarter.

La Habra (1-1), the Division IX champion last season, trailed Los Altos (2-0), the defending Division VI champion, 15-6 at halftime. But the Highlanders used a strong drive by Morales to get to 15-13, with 1:40 to play in the third quarter.

Morales took the Highlanders 45 yards in seven plays, completing two passes for 24 yards and scoring on a three-yard run to close the gap.

He completed nine of 16 passes for 99 yards with one touchdown and one interception before leaving the game with severe leg cramps with 2:47 left.

-- Lauren Peterson

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