Owens' 4 TD Tosses Just Enough For Moorpark

Nick Owens threw four touchdown passes, all in the second quarter, which proved to be just enough offense for Moorpark as the Raiders held off Citrus, 27-21, Saturday afternoon in Glendora in Central Division-West Conference action.

Owens' four tosses came in a span of 11:03, staking Moorpark (6-3, 3-1) to a 27-7 lead. That seemed to put the Raiders in control of the game, but Citrus scored late in the second quarter and again late in the third quarter to get within six points, and had four more chances to go ahead before turnovers finally ended the Owls' chances.

Citrus (5-4, 3-1) started out well, behind quarterback Rocky Moore, who started in place of the injured Blake Loncar. The Owls drove to the Raider 9 yard-line on their first drive, but an errant snap resulted in the first of six Citrus turnovers as Quentin Kantaris recovered for Moorpark. However, after a Raider three-and-out, the Owl offense again drove deep into Raider territory and this time held onto the ball long enough to take a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by fullback Jesus Vargas.

Then came the 27-point Moorpark offense, as the Raiders quickly took a 27-7 lead. Owens' first touchdown pass was a 1-yard toss to DeAndre Hutchins to cap an 11-play drive that included a 29-yard run by punter David Sandler on a fake punt play. And when Citrus return man Everett Frazier fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, Steven Cristobal recovered for Moorpark at the Citrus 23. On the next play, Owens threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Donnel Robinson to give Moorpark the lead.

After a Citrus punt, Moorpark pushed its lead to 20-7 on a 9-play, 77-yard drive that culminated with Owens throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Robinson with 8:29 left in the second quarter. Moorpark's fourth touchdown came on another Owens-to-Robinson pass, this one from 22 yards out with 3:49 left in the half.

Citrus inserted wide receiver-turned-quarterback Michael Ball into the game, and Ball broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run with 3:03 left in the first half to cut the deficit to 27-14 at the break. And the Citrus defense dug in, forcing the first of four consecutive punts by Moorpark on the last Raider possession of the half.
Citrus cut further into the deficit late in the third quarter when Moore, back behind center, threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Scott Dooley with 1:33 left in the quarter. At that point, with the Owl defense holding Moorpark at bay and the Citrus turnovers seemingly halted, it looked like the Owls could make the comeback. Missed field goals by Moorpark's Edward Ruhnke - the first of which was blocked by Citrus' Danzale White - kept it a six-point game.

But the turnover plague returned for Citrus, and that ultimately ended the Owls' chances for the win. An interception by Cristobal halfted the first Owl drive of the fourth quarter. A punt ended the next one. Then Steven Townsley stripped Citrus' Ricky Johnson for a fumble that Jerald McClure recovered with 2:39 left. The Owls got the ball back once more with 1:41 left, but Lucas Mandic intercepted Moore's last pass of the afternoon with 50 seconds to go, finally clinching the win for Moorpark.

Owens finished 27 for 43 passing for 281 yards, the four touchdowns, and, perhaps most importantly, no interceptions. Hutchins led all receivers with 10 catches for 126 yards and a score, and Robinson had 9 catches for 98 yards and three touchdowns. Langston Jackson had 48 yards rushing on 14 carries, while William Franklin had 48 yards rushing on 16 carries.

For Citrus, Moore completed 19 of 35 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown, but also had three interceptions. Ball led the Owls with 49 yards rushing on four attempts, with almost all of that coming on the touchdown run. Johnson had 40 yards on 9 carries. Kelvin Chatham had 4 catches for 70 yards, and B.J. Oyefeso had 4 catches for 40 yards.

The overall statistics were quite even, with Moorpark outgaining Citrus, 371 to 368 in total yards and achieving 22 first downs to 20 for the Owls. But the six-to-zero turnover margin favoring Moorpark proved the decisive factor.

Citrus and Moorpark now stand tied for second in the Central Division's West Division, a game behind Long Beach. The Owls travel to Veterans Stadium to take on Long Beach next week, while Moorpark hosts LA Harbor.

Moorpark Raiders  27
Citrus Owls  21

Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 1 pm - Owl Stadium, Glendora
Central Division - West Conference

1st Quarter:
C - Vargas 1 yd run (Kepley kick) 3:04 (0-7)
2nd Quarter:
M - Hutchins 1 yd pass from Owens (kick blocked) 14:42 (6-7)
M - Robinson 23 yd pass from Owens (Ruhnke kick) 14:26 (13-7)
M - Robinson 4 yd pass from Owens (Ruhnke  kick) 8:29 (20-7)
M - Robinson 22 yd pass from Owens (Ruhnke kick) 3:49 (27-7)
C - Ball 48 yd run (Kepley kick) 3:03 (27-14)

3rd Quarter:
C - Dooley 9 yd pass from Moore (Kepley kick) 1:33 (27-21)

4th Quarter:
No Scoring

Team Statistics:
First Downs: Citrus 20 (9 rush, 9 pass, 2 penalty), Moorpark 22 (6 rush, 14 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds:   Citrus 32-134, Moorpark 41-90
Passing Yds: Citrus 234, Moorpark 281
Comp-Att-Int: Citrus 19-36-3, Moorpark 27-43-0
Return Yds: Citrus 121, Moorpark 146
Sacks-Yds: Citrus 5-36, Moorpark 1-10
Fumbles-Lost: Citrus 4-3, Moorpark 2-0
Penalties-Yds: Citrus 5-50, Moorpark 9-90
Time of Possession: Citrus 24:31, Moorpark 35:29

Individual Statistics:
C 12-Ball 4-49, 3-R.Johnson 9-40, 43-Tauiliili 4-25, 5-Counts 2-17, 45-Vargas 5-16, 31-Sainz 5-15, 23-W.Clark 1-1, 10-Moore 1-(-10), team 1-(-19); M 26-Jackson 14-48, 31-Franklin 16-48, 37-Sandler 1-29, 3-Looney 3-4, 7-Owens 5-(-36), team 2-(-3)
Passing: C 10-Moore 19-35-3-234, 1 TD; 12-Ball 0-1-0-0; M 7-Owens 27-42-0-281, 4 TDs; 84-Williams 0-1-0-0
Receiving: C 14-Chatham 4-70, 1-Oyefeso 4-40, 2-Dooley 4-31, 12-Ball 3-47, 5-Counts 2-13, 31-Sainz 1-30, 3-R.Johnson 1-3; M 1-Hutchins 10-126, 8-Robinson 9-98, 2-West 5-33, 44-Elmore 3-24
Interceptions-Ret Yds: C none; M 20-Cristobal 1-17, 46-Pineda 1-12, 10-Mandic 1-5
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: C none; M 20-Cristobal 1-0, 53-Kantaris 1-0, 81-McClure 1-0
Sacks-Yds: C 48-Bergen 1-15, 8-Nunez 1-8, 44-Mullaly 1-7, 47-Arceo 1-4, 90-White 1-0; M 41-Bailey 1-10
Punters:   C 50-Laros 3-41.3 avg, 91-Ambrosine 2-40.0 avg; M 37-Sandler 7-38.6 avg
Kick Returns: C 35-Beddard 2-64, 23-W.Clark 2-34, 80-Frazier 1-23; M 8-Robinson 3-40, 46-Pineda 1-4
Punt Returns: C 80-Frazier 1-0; M 8-Robinson 4-68
Missed FG: C none; M 99-Ruhnke 38 yds (blocked), 45 yds (wide left)

Notes: Moorpark entered 5-3, 2-1 in Central-West, ranked t-#12 in South; Citrus entered 5-3, 3-0 in Central-West, ranked #10 in South. Moore started at QB for Citrus in place of injured Loncar. Sandler's run on a fake punt kept the drive alive for Moorpark's 1st TD. 9-Fredrick-Mathews blocked the XPA for Citrus. Frazier fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Cristobal recovered; Moorpark's 2nd TD came on the next play. Ball played QB for a couple series for Citrus and was at QB for his TD run. 90-White blocked the field goal attempt for Citrus with 10:57 left and Ruhnke missed the FG with 4:23 left, allowing Citrus to stay close. But a fumble by Johnson (forced by 32-Townsley, recovered by McClure) and the interception by Mandic ended Citrus' last two chances.

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