The Raider defense allowed just 8 first downs and 116 yards of Ventura offense and recovered 4 fumbles, the first of which Brown returned for a TD, giving Moorpark all the points it would need.
The local rivalry between the two Ventura County schools is a strong one, and normally the teams play close, exciting games that include big comebacks. But on this night, it was no contest. The Moorpark defense shut down the Ventura offense, including star receiver Charles Dillon, and took advantage of some Pirate mistakes. Dillon ended up touching the ball 10 times on 7 catches and 3 carries, but finished with just 41 yards and no touchdowns. And the Moorpark defense outscored the Ventura offense by itself when Brown picked up a fumble and returned it 29 yards for the game's first score early in the second quarter.
Ventura got the strong initial start it wanted when Andy Morales took the opening kickoff at his goal line and returned the ball 62 yards to the Moorpark 38. Then, using a series of short passes, Brandon Bishop-Parise led the Pirates deeper into Raider territory. An 8-yard pass to Dillon got a first down at the Moorpark 27, and a 12-yard toss to Andy Casey moved the ball to the 13. However, the drive stalled moments later and the Pirates faced a 4th and 2 from the 5. Again, Bishop-Parise threw to Dillon, who got the ball just behind the line of scrimmage. But the Moorpark defense was waiting, and threw Dillon for a 1-yard loss, giving the Raiders the ball on downs.
When Moorpark got the ball, it managed just 7 yards on 3 plays and was forced to punt. On the punt play, however, Ventura ran into punter Felipe Macias, giving the Raiders a first down. Moments later, though, Moorpark again faced 4th and 1 from its own 39. Inexplicably, the Raiders elected to go for the first down. That strategy backfired when Julius Killings was thrown for a 3-yard loss, giving Ventura the ball at the 36. But then the Moorpark defense asserted itself, allowing Ventura just 1 yard on three plays. On came Ventura's Robby Smith to attempt a 52-yard field goal, but the kick was short and wide to the left, keeping the game scoreless.
And from that point on, Moorpark took over. A 36-yard pass from Cody Holland to the speedy Tony Washington got the Raiders all the way to the Ventura 7-yard line. However, moments later that drive ended abruptly when Justin Haulcy-Bateman intercepted a Holland pass in the end zone. And for a moment, it seemed Ventura had stabilized things as the teams exchanged punts and the Pirates got the ball to the 31-yard line after a 15-yard pass to Deavon Washington. But on the very next play, Gregory Davis took the ball on an end-around and was hit hard. The ball popped loose, and Brown picked it up for Moorpark at the Ventura 29 and carried it across the goal line for the touchdown.
Now the Moorpark defense was fired up, and Ventura had a quick 3-and-out after they got the ball back. And when the Raiders got the ball at the 50 after a short punt, it took them just 3 plays to score again. A 44-yard pass from Holland to Washington gave Moorpark a 1st and goal. Then came a 5-yard run by Cardwell, followed by a 1-yard scoring run by Cardwell to make it 14-0 Moorpark.
When Ventura got the ball back, the Moorpark defense again forced a punt after just 3 plays. This time Ventura's Smith got a good kick away, but Moorpark's return man Troy Lewis took the ball and sped around the right side and down the sideline before finally being stopped by Smith at the Ventura 23. The 35-yard return offset most of Smith's 44-yard punt. But the saving tackle helped keep Ventura in the game as the Pirate defense held Moorpark out of the end zone. On 4th and 19 from the 22, Macias came on and kicked a 39-yard field goal to make it 17-0.
And when Ventura got the ball back again, it just got worse when, three plays later, Bishop-Parise missed connections on a pitchout. Moopark's Jorge Figueroa recovered at the Pirate 45. Seven plays later, Holland scored on a naked bootleg from 10 yards out to make it 24-0. And it nearly got worse for the Pirates when Morales fumbled the ensuing kickoff return and Brown recovered his second fumble of the night for Moorpark. But the Raiders were unable to capitalize on that opportunity, and when Macias' 31-yard field goal attempt nicked the outside of the left goal post just before halftime, Ventura still trailed by just 3 scores at 24-0.
However, Moorpark's Lewis took the second-half kickoff and returned it 57 yards to the Ventura 41-yard line and into scoring position. And it took the Raiders just 6 plays to cover the final distance, which came on Cardwell's second TD run of the evening. That made it 31-0 and ended any real doubt about the game's outcome.
Ventura finally got on the board late in the third quarter, thanks largely to a turnover. When Moorpark's Killings lost the ball after a devastating hit, Luis Guzman recovered for the Pirates at the Raider 39. The Ventura drive stalled moments later at the 19, but on came Smith to boot a 36-yard field goal and get the Pirates on the scoreboard. Those, however, would be the Pirates' only points of the night.
And Moorpark wound down the clock in the fourth quarter with a 16-play drive, consisting almost exclusively of running plays that took 11:14 off the clock. Reserve Matt Morris, younger brother of former Moorpark standout Greg Morris, gained most of his 42 yards rushing on this drive, including the final yard on a 1-yard run with 18 seconds left to close out the scoring.
For Moorpark, Holland finished 11 of 21 for 184 yards and one interception. Most of those passes went to Tony Washington, who had 9 catches for 168 yards. Cardwell led all rushers with 67 yards on 13 carries, including 2 touchdowns. Brown had 2 fumble recoveries, one returned for a touchdown, and a sack to lead the defense.
For Ventura, Bishop-Parise completed 17 of 30 passes but none was for more than 15 yards. His total was 95 yards, which accounted for most of the Pirate offense. Five Ventura rushers combined for 21 yards on 20 carries, with Aaron Brown leading the team with 14 yards on 9 attempts. Charles Dillon, the team's top offensive weapon, had 7 catches but managed just 31 yards. In the third quarter, Ventura even tried using him at running back to get him the ball; the result was 3 carries for 10 yards.
M – Brown 29 yd fumble return (Macias kick) 14:43 -- 7-0
M – Cardwell 1 yd run (Macias kick) 11:43 -- 14-0
M – FG Macias 39 yds 5:49 -- 17-0
M – Holland 10 yd run (Macias kick) 2:07 -- 24-0
M – Cardwell 1 yd run (Macias kick) 11:48 -- 31-0
V – FG Smith 36 yds 2:23 -- 31-3
M – M.Morris 1 yd run (Pass failed) 0:17.2 -- 37-3
|First Downs||20 (10 run; 6 pass; 4 penalty)||8 (6 pass; 2 penalty)|
|Rushes – Yards||51-180||20-21|
|Comp - Att – Int||12-23-1||17-30-0|
|Sacks – Yards||3-9||0-0|
|Fumbles – Lost||5-1||4-4|
|Penalties – Yards||9-90||7-61|
|Time of Possession||37:28||22:32|
M: 7-Cardwell 13-67, 19-M.Morris 10-42, 21-Killings 18-39, 11-Holland 5-21, 31-Blum 5-11 V: 24-Brown 9-14, 2-Dillon 3-10, 17-Bishop-Parise 7-(-1), 6-Davis 1-(-2)
M: 11-Holland 11-21-1-184, 16-Merrill 1-2-0-14 V: 17-Bishop-Parise 17-30-0-95
M: 88-T.Washington 9-168, 31-Blum 2-23, 5-Trowbridge 1-7 V: 2-Dillon 7-31, 24-Brown 3-2, 3 D.Washington 2-25, 84-Lopez 2-23, 19-Casey 2-14
M: none V: 4-Haulcy-Bateman 1-0
M: 84-Brown 2-37, 57-Rutledge 1-0, 94-Figueroa 1-0 V: 22-Guzman 1-0
M: 84-Brown 1-5, 34-Hollis 1-3, 15-Faagai 1-1 V: none
M: 90-Macias 3-27.3 avg S: 9-Smith 6-30.2 avg
M: 2-Lewis 1-57 V: 5-Morales 5-168, 1-Wilson 2-30
M: 2-Lewis 2-33 V: 22-Guzman 1-1
M: 90-Macias 31 yds (wide left) V: 9-Smith 52 yds (short/w left)
Notes: The Citrus Cup! Moorpark is now 4-3, 2-2 in WSC-N; they entered #18 in South; Ventura is now 2-5, 1-3. Ventura started well when Morales returned the opening kickoff 62 yds to the Moorpark 38, and the Pirates got to the Raider 5. But on 4th and 2, Dillon caught a short pass and was thrown for a 1-yard loss. Then things gradually deteriorated for Ventura. They missed the long FGA on their next drive, and punted on the one after that. Then came the fumble that Brown returned for the TD, which began the onslaught. Ventura's FG came after Guzman's fumble recovery. Moorpark's last drive took 16 plays and chewed up 11:14 off the clock.