Luton threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kendric Mallory to cap a 13-play, 88-yard drive, and Ventura (4-2, 1-0) led the rest of the way in the National Division North Conference opener for both teams. Luton threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to 6-7 tight end Logan Javernick on the Pirates' second drive of the game and a 49-yard scoring strike to Cam Taylor in the second quarter as Ventura took a 20-0 lead.
An interception by Kavon Jarrell – the only mark on Luton's stat sheet was that he threw three interceptions in the first half – near midfield led to Canyons' (2-4, 0-1) only first-half score, a 24-yard field goal by Kevin Nietzke with 2:04 left in the first half that cut the deficit to 20-3.
Canyons received the second half, but return man R.B. Marlow fumbled on the return, with Ventura's Latrae Lofton recovering at the the Cougar 26. That led to Luton's fourth touchdown pass of the game, a 19-yard scoring toss to Elijah Alexander just 2:07 into the third quarter that stretched the lead to 27-3.
Canyons scored in the final minute of the quarter when C.J. Williams threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown. But Luton answered just over two minutes later when he scored on a 1-yard keeper to cap a 52-yard drive following a 37-yard kickoff return by Tanner Gee. That made it 34-10 with 13:39 left.
At that point Canyons inserted third-string quarterback Matt Moore – not the current Miami Dolphin who played on this field when he played for Hart HS more than a decade ago, but rather a 6-3, 255-pound sophomore from California City, and he sparked a bit of a Cougar rally. He threw a 18-yard touchdown pass to Marlow with 10:47 left to cut the Pirate lead to 17 points. Luton answered with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Jordan just over a minute later, but Moore led Canyons on another drive and threw another touchdown pass to Marlow, this one from 29 yards out with 6:36 remaining.
And on the ensuing kickoff, Nietzke perfectly executed an onsides kick, which David Wilder recovered to give the Cougars possession at their own 47. Tylan McBride broke off a 17-yard run and Moore threw a 13-yard pass to Marlow to get the ball to the Ventura 17. But that would be the end of the rally. Two incomplete passes and a 5-yard sack by Ventura's Mark Zavala made for a 4th and 15 situation for the Cougars, and on that play Kalail Griffin knocked down Moore's pass to turn the ball back over on downs to the Pirates.
Ventura added one more touchdown when Isaiah Brown scored on a 5-yard run with 1:01 left, pushing his rushing total on the night past the 100-yard mark.
Luton finished 29 of 40 passing for 302 yards. He accounted for all but the last of Ventura's touchdowns, with 5 touchdown passes and one touchdown run. Isaiah Brown led all rushers with 104 yards on just 10 carries. Ten different receivers caught at least one pass for the Pirates, with Alexander hauling in 7 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown and Taylor catching 5 passes for 79 yards and a score.
For Canyons, Williams was 11 for 22 passing for 100 yards and a score, with Moore coming on in relief and completing 6 of 14 passes for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. Marquise Brown had 7 catches for 88 yards and a score, and Marlow had 4 catches for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Ventura Pirates 48 Canyons Cougars 25
Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 6 pm @ Cougar Stadium, Santa Clarita
National Division – North Conference
V – Mallory 9 yd pass from Luton (kick blocked) 10:15 (6-0)
V – Javernick 2 yd pass from Luton (Root kick) 2:14 (13-0)
V – Taylor 49 yd pass from Luton (Root kick) 9:12 (20-0)
C – FG Nietzke 24 yds 2:04 (20-3)
V – Alexander 19 yd pass from Luton (Root kick) 12:53 (27-3)
C – M.Brown 1 yd pass from C.Williams (Nietzke kick) 0:46 (27-10)
V – Siegrist 1 yd run (Root kick) 13:39 (34-10)
C – Marlow 18 yd pass from Moore (Nietzke kick) 10:47 (34-17)
V – Jordan 4 yd pass from Luton (Root kick) 9:24 (41-17)
C – Marlow 29 yd pass from Moore (Zdimal pass from Sammut) 6:36 (41-25)
V – I.Brown 5 yd run (Root kick) 1:01 (48-25)
First Downs: Canyons 21 (8 rush, 11 pass, 2 penalty), Ventura 32 (12 rush, 16 pass, 4 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Canyons 34-110, Ventura 39-229
Passing Yds: Canyons 221, Ventura 320
Comp-Att-Int: Canyons 17-37-1, Ventura 32-44-3
Return Yds: Canyons 192, Ventura 90
Sacks-Yds: Canyons 1-8, Ventura 2-6
Fumbles-Lost: Canyons 3-2, Ventura 2-1
Penalties-Yds: Canyons 11-120, Ventura 10-95
Time of Possession: Canyons 30:36, Ventura 29:24
Rushing: C 14-McBride 4-37, 8-Lambert 7-31, 3-C.Williams 9-29, 6-M.Brown 2-8, 20-K.Smith 4-8, 12-Eusebi 4-5, 18-Moore 2-(-6), team 2-(-2); V 22-Isaiah Brown 10-104, 27-Siegrist 9-62, 3-Burt 9-45, 7-Luton 8-15, 23-Gee 1-3, 8-Regan 2-0
Passing: C 18-Matt Moore 6-14-0-121, 2 TDs; 3-C.J. Williams 11-22-1-100, 1 TD; 12-Eusebi 0-1-0-0; V 7-Jake Luton 29-40-3-302, 5 TDs; 8-Regan 3-4-0-18
Receiving: C 6-Marquise Brown 7-88, 15-R.B. Marlow 4-88, 8-Lambert 3-8, 17-Allen 2-19, 14-McBride 1-3; V 2-Alexander 7-59, 4-Taylor 5-79, 85-Broski 4-41, 6-Mallory 3-25, 17-Jordan 3-11, 22-I.Brown 3-11, 12-Snelling 2-58, 9-Houston 2-25, 33-Javernick 2-0, 27-Siegrist 1-11
Interceptions-Ret Yds: C 7-H.Smith 1-15, 24-Austin 1-13, 36-Jarrell 1-(-2); V 24-Pacheco 1-0
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: C 90-Gilder 1-0; V 31-McIntyre 1-0, 36-Lofton 1-0
Sacks: C 30-Reeves 1-8; V 31-McIntyre 1-1, 56-Zavala 1-5
Punters: C 31-McKinney 3-42.7 avg; V 37-Garcia 1-19
Kick Returns: C 15-Marlow 4-93, 14-McBride 2-39, 9-Taylor 1-18, 6-M.Brown 1-16; V 23-Gee 2-59, 1-Crumbie 2-26
Punt Returns: C none; V 1-Crumbie 1-5
Missed FG: none
Notes: Conference Opener for both teams. Ventura entered 3-2 overall, ranked #7 in South-National while Canyons entered 2-3 and ranked #10. Williams started at QB for Canyons. 40-Dennison blocked the extra point try for Canyons. COC's FG came after Jarrell's interception near midfield. Lofton recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff, which led to Ventura's 4th TD. Canyons still leads the all-time series, 17-11, but Ventura has won 4 of the last 5 meetings.