“If We Keep Playing Oxnard Football…”

Ventura takes the upset victory, scoring 23-7

Sideline players spectated their team playing on the field.

Juan Quero, Editor-in-Chief

Oxnard High School senior Veronica Simental described the atmosphere before the game as, “everyone was pretty pumped because it was a big deal to us.”

OHS’s next-town rivalry was scheduled to be played out on October 3, 2014. The Ventura High School Cougars arrived in Oxnard High School’s Bud Houser Field. Set to play a non-conference game, and having lost to the Yellowjackets last year, Ventura arrived with a point to prove.

During the first quarter, three minutes into the start of the game, OHS fumbled the ball but quickly recovered the football from the Cougar’s possession. After the majority of the quarter had consisted of Oxnard driving the ball down to Ventura’s side of the field, junior quarterback Dalton Pagano was able to score the first touchdown. The six-point lead was followed by a successful field goal — making the score 7-0 in favor of Oxnard.

VHS juniors Angelica Aranda and Melissa Vallejo stated that this was an intense game compared to past games they had attended. “My thoughts before the game were that both teams were 4-1 and that this was going to determine which school was better. So I honestly was scared at the beginning,” said Aranda.

Oxnard’s defense focused on Ventura’s short pass plays towards the sidelines and unexpected runs up the center. This tactic proved to work — minimizing the Cougars’ yardage. Senior center and defensive end Antonio Gaxiola lead Oxnard’s defense to minimize yardage from Ventura’s offense.

Ventura’s defense, pressured Oxnard with multiple fourth and one situations. Nevertheless, senior offensive guards Edwin Vargas and Danny Lopez lead the offensive defense to break through these scenarios and earn the needed yardage.

At the start of the second quarter, however, an early interception by Ventura was the Cougar’s first sign of a comeback.

Ventura’s pass reception was especially deterred by senior free safety and defensive back J Dunham. He said, “they were going in to score, at the end of the second quarter, and they fumbled and I picked it up and took it like 50 yards — it was a game-changer.”

Eventually, however, the Ventura Cougars would progressively increase their point differential. By the end of the fourth quarter, the score was 23-7, resulting in a Ventura victory.

Vallejo agreed with Aranda, who said “I think the performance for Oxnard and Ventura will probably be similar [for the remainder of the season]…so I think if they can just pull through all the way, the whole game, then I think they’ll have a successful season.”

Senior defensive corner and wide receiver Jacob Tinoco said that his team played the “first half, great. Second half, terrible. We just didn’t play together, and that’s what costed us the game.”

Fellow senior wide receiver Spencer Santiago said, “if we keep playing Oxnard football and we just keep developing and getting better, we are going to do big things.”

Oxnard is scheduled to play at home, against Rio Mesa High School on October 10, 2014 for their first conference game for the season. It will also feature the traditional Senior Night for high school senior football players.

 

Source: Nicholas Robles