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Newbury Park Edges Moorpark, 23-16

October 22, 2005|Martin Henderson, Dan Arritt, Ben Bolch, Peter Yoon | From Times Staff Reports

With both teams averaging 34 points a game, offense should have been the storyline to the Marmonte League showdown between Newbury Park and Moorpark on Friday.

But defense by Newbury Park took center stage as the host Panthers won their sixth consecutive game, 23-16.

Senior linebacker Travis Dickey made the difference on both sides of the ball.

His 25-yard interception return in the first quarter provided the first score for Newbury Park (6-1, 4-0), and his 26-yard touchdown reception with 3:42 left provided the victory.

"That's the best defensive game I've seen in years," said George Hurley, who has been Newbury Park's head coach since 1989. "[Dickey is] the heart and soul of our defense."

The Panthers last won a league title in 1998. Moorpark (4-3, 3-1), which had its four-game winning streak ended, hasn't won a league title since 1988.

"It was a quick slant. I jumped in front of it and took it as far as I could," said Dickey, who had two of the Panthers' four interceptions against sophomore quarterback Adam Barry. "I got great blocking from the defense."

Moorpark's defense also played well, and had four interceptions against the Southland's leading passer, Jordan LaSecla. He completed 19 of 45 passes for 273 yards and only one touchdown, his 25th of the season.

He entered the game having thrown only four interceptions.

Moorpark's Dan Moran, playing for starter Darrell Scott (sprained ankle), rushed 40 times for 234 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown run.

David Prickett's 33-yard field goal tied the score at 16-16 with 5:32 left before Newbury Park's winning 78-yard drive, which included a double pass, from Jason Andersen to James Pace for 36 yards.

Martin Henderson


Santa Ana Mater Dei 17, Santa Margarita 7 -- While the Monarchs, ranked No. 11 in the Southland by The Times, break in a freshman quarterback and a sophomore left tackle this season, junior running back Ahmed Mokhtar and senior wide receiver Robert Dubrish are carrying the offensive load.

Mokhtar rushed for a career-high 164 yards in 27 carries and Dubrish caught eight passes for 105 yards in a Serra League game at Santa Ana Stadium.

The defense also contributed, especially early on, holding Santa Margarita to 36 total yards and two first downs as the offense built a 10-0 halftime lead.

Santa Margarita (3-4, 0-2), ranked 19th but a loser of three in a row and four of its last five, cut the deficit to 10-7 on a 19-yard touchdown run by John Angelo with 11:43 left.

Mokhtar responded by rushing for all 98 yards on the next possession for Mater Dei (4-3, 2-0), scoring on a two-yard run with 1:29 left for the final margin.

Dan Arritt


La Puente Bishop Amat 28, Los Angeles Loyola 14 -- Jonathan Cornell rushed for three touchdowns and registered a key sack of Cub quarterback Henry Burge for the No. 23 Lancers, who rallied for a Serra League victory at home.

Cornell ran up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave Bishop Amat (5-2, 1-1) a 21-14 lead. Then, with No. 18 Loyola (5-2, 1-1) backed deep in its own territory, Cornell sacked Burge for a six-yard loss on third down and the Cubs were forced to punt.

The Lancers took over at the Loyola 28-yard line and scored four plays later on Cornell's 12-yard run to set the final margin. Cornell, who also scored on a nine-yard run in the first quarter, finished with 72 yards in 12 carries.

Chad Peppars' 71-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter had given Loyola a 14-7 lead, but Bishop Amat answered on its next drive when Daniel Robles connected with Julian Reyes for a 47-yard touchdown pass play to tie the score.

Burge completed 24 of 45 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown. But Lancer defensive back Cameron McNeal intercepted one of Burge's passes early in the fourth quarter and defensive end James Cody Neely recorded three sacks.

Robles completed 14 of 24 passes for 219 yards.

Loyola's Taylor Joseph had nine receptions for 101 yards.

Ben Bolch


Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula 35, Manhattan Beach Mira Costa 14 -- Peninsula (7-0, 2-0) forced four Mira Costa turnovers and turned them into 21 points as the Panthers grabbed control of the Bay League in an afternoon game at Peninsula.

The victory is Peninsula's first against Mira Costa since 1999 and it avenged Peninsula's only regular-season blemish from last year, when the teams tied, 27-27, as Peninsula went 9-0-1 and won the Bay League title before advancing to the Southern Section Division III semifinals.

Mira Costa (6-1, 1-1) scored its first touchdown, a 43-yard pass play from Kevin Romero to B.J. Robinson, with 10:02 left. That cut Peninsula's lead to 21-7, but Ben Bobit returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 28-7 lead.

Two plays later, Ryan Bivinetto intercepted a Romero pass and Peninsula then drove 58 yards in 10 plays -- nine of them runs by Cyrus Shahbazian -- and took a 35-7 lead when Shahbazian scored from two yards with 4:49 left.

Peninsula has given up only 45 points this season (6.4 points a game) and its defense set the tone early by forcing turnovers on Mira Costa's first three possessions as the Panthers took a 21-0 halftime lead.

Shahbazian led Peninsula's ball-control offense with 158 yards and two touchdowns in 29 carries. Peninsula held the ball for 30:15; Mira Costa for 17:45. Romero completed 21 of 36 passes for 251 yards with two touchdowns. He had 156 yards and both touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

-- Peter Yoon

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