PLAYOFFS: El Camino Triumphs over Moorpark

Boo Jackson shook off a devastating hit and threw for 225 yards, Ruddy Irving (PHOTO) rushed for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Joseph Perkins had a pair of interceptions but #4 seed El Camino (9-2) still had to hold off a final late charge from #5 seed Moorpark (9-2) to post a 31-29 win in the American Bowl in Torrance.

Jackson left the game with 29 seconds left in the first half.  On a third down play, Jackson scrambled towards the left sideline.  Trying to avoid a direct hit, Jackson slid to the turf but began the slide too late, and the result was a violent helmet-to-helmet collision.  Jackson stayed on the ground for several minutes before being led to the dressing room, but returned in the third quarter to lead the Warriors to the win.

El Camino often seemed in control of the game, dominating the statistics and holding a lead from the first quarter on.  But the resourceful Raiders of Moorpark managed to stick around, taking advantage of some big plays and some El Camino mistakes and had the ball twice in the last six-plus minutes with a chance to take the lead.

Early on, El Camino took advantage of Moorpark turnovers to score a pair of first-quarter touchdowns.  After Sean Prince intercepted a tipped Cam Merrill pass along the sideline at the Warrior 48, it took El Camino just three plays to take a 7-0 lead.  Irving burst through the Raider defense for a 25-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the night to put the Warriors ahead just 4:46 into the game.

Moorpark answered back quickly with a big play to tie the game.  First, Merrill threw a short pass to Tony Washington, who curled in and caught the ball for a 3-yard gain.  But on the next play, Washington faked an inside route but instead went straight down the left sideline.  Merrill hit him in stride with the pass, and Washington neatly deked the only Warrior defender with an angle on him and ended with a 68-yard touchdown reception to make it 7-7.

But another interception, this one by Perkins, helped El Camino to reclaim the lead.  Perkins' pick gave the Warriors the ball at their own 45.  Two plays later, Jackson threw to Trey Buckley for a 27-yard pass over the middle to the Moorpark 28.  Two plays after that, Irving scored his second touchdown of the night (after a splendid block by fullback Phillip Knight) on his second carry of the night, this one from 22 yards out to make it 14-7 with 2:09 left in the first quarter.

El Camino held the lead the rest of the game, but holding onto the lead wasn't easy.  On the next drive, the Warriors had the chance to extend that lead to 21-7, but Jamicah Bass fumbled at the Moorpark 3.  Alex Leaupepe recovered for the Raiders, keeping it a 7-point game.  But that just delayed the Warriors a bit as the defense forced a Moorpark punt and the Warriors got the ball back at the Raider 49.  Five plays later, Jackson lofted a pass into the right corner of the end zone, and 6-2 Kayne Farquharson outjumped and wrestled the ball away from 5-8 Laydell Shelton to extend El Camino's lead to 21-7.

Moorpark closed the lead to 21-10 with a 12-play drive that ended with a 26-yard Felipe Macias with 2:12 left before halftime.  But that left plenty of time for the Warriors to respond.  Jackson threw to Bass for 17 yards and to Verran Tucker for 27 more to get to the Moorpark 20, and went back to pass on the next play.  Finding no receiver open, Jackson scrambled towards the left side and gained 11 yards before being knocked out at the end of the play.

Phillip Hons came on to take the next snap for El Camino, but Irving was thrown for a 4-yard loss on the play.  Worse yet, both teams were flagged for personal fouls after the play, and El Camino was also hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  That moved the ball all the way back to the 28 with 4 seconds left before halftime.  But Joe Houston came on and booted a 46-yard field goal as the half expired to extend El Camino's lead to 24-10.

When the second half started, Jackson had not emerged from the locker room and Moorpark quickly cut the lead back to 7 points at 24-17.  Daniel Mosier, who did not play in the first half, sparked the Raider running game and Merrill completed a 40-yard pass to Shelton Banks to get the Raiders deep into El Camino territory.  Mosier capped the drive with a 3-yard scoring run to make it 24-17.

Just before the Raiders scored, however, Jackson arrived on the El Camino sideline.  With their leader back in command, the Warriors embarked on an 13-play drive that chewed up more than 7 minutes and moved slowly down the field.  But that drive ended in frustration when Bass again lost the ball deep in Raider territory, this time losing the ball just before the goal line.  The ball squirted out of the end zone for a touchback, giving the Raiders the ball and keeping the score 24-17.

And Moorpark whittled a little more off the lead on that next drive.  A 47-yard pass from Merrill to Conrad Meadows, which the receiver snatched away from a pair of El Camino defenders, got the Raiders to the Warrior 33.  A 13-yard pass to Washington got them to the 20.  But then the drive stalled, and Moorpark had to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Macias, which cut the El Camino lead to 24-20.

When El Camino got the ball back, the Warriors moved down the field to seemingly take command of the game once again.  A 36-yard pass from Jackson to Tucker got the Warriors deep into Moorpark territory, and four plays later 235-pound back Patrick Hill powered his way into the end zone to make it 31-20 early in the fourth quarter.

But Moorpark struck back quickly, using a trick play to again make it a one-score game.  On the Raiders' second play of its next possession, Merrill threw a backwards pass to Banks towards the right sideline.  But instead of running with the ball, Banks stopped and threw a perfect pass to Meadows, who was all alone behind the El Camino secondary.  The 56-yard touchdown pass made it 31-27 with 13:05 left in the game.

El Camino held the ball for nearly 7 minutes on its next possession, but when the drive stalled at the 35, the Warriors had punter Oscar De Alba kick the ball away.  That strategy worked perfectly as De Alba's punt rolled dead at the Moorpark 2, leaving the Raiders 6:13 in which to cover the 98 yards necessary to take the lead.  Three plays later, the Warriors seemed to clinch the win when Perkins intercepted a Merrill pass at the Warrior 37, giving El Camino the ball with the lead and just 5:02 remaining.

That's when things started getting bizarre.  El Camino's Irving gained 8 yards on first down, but Knight was held to a 1-yard gain on second down.  On third and 1, the Warriors went for the big play:  Jackson threw a long pass down the right sideline for Farquharson but this time Shelton leaped high into the air and knocked the ball away.  Then on fourth down, the Warriors gambled and went for the first down.  That strategy ended in disaster when fullback Hill was stopped for no gain, giving Moorpark another chance with the ball at the El Camino 46 and 3:03 left on the clock.

However, the El Camino defense responded to the challenge.  After a 14-yard run by Mosier gave the Raiders a first down at the 28, the Warriors stopped the drive cold.  A 3-yard run by Mosier sandwiched between two incomplete passes made it 4th and 7, and El Camino's James Wheeler knocked Merrill's fourth down pass to the ground, giving the Warriors the ball again at their own 25 with 1:41 left.

Moorpark had just 2 timeouts left, and used them both.  And the Raiders forced the Warriors into a fourth-down situation.  El Camino led the clock run down as far as possible, taking a delay penalty with 9 seconds left.  On fourth down, Jackson took the ball on a deep snap, and then danced in the end zone for as long as possible.  He was finally pushed across the sideline with 2 seconds left for the safety, but El Camino still clung to a 2-point lead at 31-29.

On the free kick, Moorpark had only one option:  try to run the kick back for the touchdown.  The ball came to Washington, who ran from the left numeral across the field towards the right sideline and handed the ball to Daniel Wolverton.  Wolverton dashed back across towards the left hashmarks, but as he turned to lateral the ball away, there was no one to throw to.  Finally, the El Camino coverage dropped him to the turf, ending the game.


El Camino Warriors 31 Moorpark Raiders 29

Saturday, November 18, 2006 – 6 pm – Murdock Stadium – El Camino College - Torrance

The 2006 American Bowl


1st Quarter:    

EC - Irving 25 yd run (Houston kick) 10:14 (7-0)
M - Washington 68 yd pass from Merrill (Macias kick) 8:59 (7-7)
EC - Irving 22 yd run (Houston kick) 2:09 (14-7) 

2nd Quarter:   

EC - K.Farquharson 34 yd pass from Jackson (Houston kick) 5:37 (21-7)
M - FG Macias 26 yds 2:12 (21-10)
EC - FG Houston 46 yds 0:00 (24-10) 

3rd Quarter:   

M - Mosier 3 yd run (Macias kick) 11:51 (24-17)
M - FG Macias 32 yds 2:40 (24-20)

4th Quarter:    

EC - Hill 2 yd run (Houston kick) 13:53 (31-20)
M - Meadows 56 yd pass from Banks (Macias kick) 13:05 (31-27)
M - Safety - Jackson tackled in end zone 0:02 (31-29)


First Downs:  El Camino 27 (16 rush, 10 pass, 1 penalty), Moorpark 12 (2 rush, 10 pass)
Rushes-Yds:  El Camino 50-254, Moorpark 20-89
Passing Yds:  El Camino 225, Moorpark 302
Comp-Att-Int:  El Camino 14-23-0, Moorpark 14-30-3
Return Yds:  El Camino 163, Moorpark 171
Sacks-Yds:  El Camino 1-7, Moorpark 0-0
Fumbles-Lost:  El Camino 2-2, Moorpark 1-0
Penalties-Yds:  El Camino 8-60, Moorpark 7-39
Time of Possession:  El Camino 38:11, Moorpark 21:49


Rushing:  El Camino 46-Irving 14-104, 4-Bass 17-91, 32-Francis 7-27, 22-Hill 5-15, 8-Knight 4-14, 17-Jackson 3-5, 24-Ray 1-(-2); Moorpark 34-Mosier 11-76, 19-M.Leaupepe 2-13, 33-Looney 3-4, 3-C.Morris 2-3, 16-Merrill 2-(-7)
Passing:   El Camino 17-Jackson 14-23-0-225, 1 TD; Moorpark 16-Merrill 13-29-3-246, 1 TD; 26-Banks 1-1-0-56, 1 TD
Receiving:   El Camino 5-Tucker 3-78, 9-K.Farquharson 2-44, 89-Buckley 2-34, 46-Irving 2-10, 32-Francis 2-9, 4-Bass 1-17, 83-Bullock 1-17, 80-Price 1-16; Moorpark 88-Washington 5-113, 4-Meadows 3-108, 26-Banks 3-46, 5-Trowbridge 2-31, 33-Looney 1-4
Interceptions-Ret Yds:  El Camino 27-Perkins 2-25, 36-Prince 1-0; Moorpark none
Fumble Recoveries:  El Camino none; Moorpark 37-A.Leaupepe, team
Sacks-Ydss:  El Camino 45-Berard 1-7; Moorpark none
Punters:   El Camino 15-De Alba 3-32.3 avg; Moorpark 90-Macias 2-38.0 avg
Kick Returns:  El Camino 80-Price 3-92, 9-K.Farquharson 2-46; Moorpark 4-Meadows 4-134, 19-M.Leaupepe 1-25, 88-Washington 1-(-8), 28-Wolverton 0-5
Punt Returns:  El Camino none; Moorpark 4-Meadows 1-15

Notes:  El Camino ent. 8-2, #4 seed in South; Moorpark ent. 9-1, #5 seed in South.  This was not just a Bowl game but also a first-round playoff game.  El Camino's 1st TD came after Prince's int.  El Camino's 2nd TD came after Perkins' 1st int.  Jackson took a hard hit from 44-R.Martinez and left the game with 29 seconds left in the first half.  81-Hons took one snap in his place but Jackson returned in the 3rd quarter.  Bass fumbled twice inside the Moorpark 5, with A.Leaupepe recovering the ball in the 1st half and the ball rolling out of the end zone in the second half.  Mosier did not play in the first half.  Banks' TD pass was a flanker option play.  Perkins' 2nd int. with 5:02 left seemed to ice the game for ECC but the Warriors couldn't run out the clock and turned the ball over on downs at their own 46 with 3:03 left.  But the ECC defense held, taking the ball back on downs at the 25 with 1:41 left.  With time running out, Jackson ran around in the end zone and intentionally took the safety on 4th down.  On the free kick, Moorpark tried a multi-player return (beginning with Washington, who handed to Wolverton) but it didn't work.


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