One Point Win for Ventura Over Valley

On an unusually windy evening in Southern California, Ventura (4-3, 3-1) got second-quarter touchdowns from Michael Lee and Gabriel Bostic and, with a little help from the elements, held off a fourth-quarter comeback bid by host LA Valley (2-5, 1-3) to post a 16-15 win in WSC Pacific Division play Saturday night.

With a high wind warning broadcast throughout the Southland, the gusts did their damage to the Monarchs on the field as Valley, trailing 16-3 late in the final quarter, scored a pair of touchdowns in the final 5:10 but failed to convert either extra point attempt. In fact, kicker Paul Landon never even got the chance to kick as the snapper & holder misfired on consecutive attempts, leaving Valley a point short and allowing the Pirates to escape with the win.

The conditions undoubtedly played a part in those misfires, with gusts blowing leaves and dust all over the field throughout the final three quarters. In the second quarter, Ventura kicker Kris Reveles missed an extra point at the same end of the field as a sudden gust of wind blew the ball off to the left. Earlier in the quarter, the wind blew the Ventura coaches' clipboard and playsheets off the roof of the press box and into the stands below. And both teams virtually abandoned the passing game as the winds increased, combining to run the ball exactly 100 times in the game.

Ventura built a lead on a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. The first came on a 1-yard run by Lee, which came on the first play of the quarter. Moments earlier, former BYU signee Jordan Cameron made a spectacular catch of a Lee Mondol pass, reaching the Monarch 1-yard line. Then, just before halftime, the Pirates put together a 14-play, 85-yard touchdown drive. Bostic scored from 2 yards out with 1:44 left in the half to make it 16-3. By then, the winds had begun, playing havoc with Reveles' extra point attempt, which was also pushed back 5 yards after a false start penalty on the Pirates.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, though Ventura reached the Valley 9 after a 13-play drive midway through the quarter. But Bostic was stopped for no gain on 4th down, giving Valley the ball and keeping it a two-score game at 16-3. The Monarchs then went on an 11-play drive that reached the Ventura 28 but were turned away when James Walker was thrown for a 1-yard loss on 4th down by Dakota Holland with 14:11 left in the game.

Ventura seemed to be in command when it gave Valley the break it needed to get back into the game. Facing a 4th and 1 at their own 34, the Pirates gambled and went for the first down. Then Carroll Powell was stopped for no gain, giving Valley the ball in prime scoring position.

But scoring would be no easy task for Valley, which needed 8 plays and over 4 minutes to get into the end zone. Along the way, the Monarchs faced a 4th down situation – Dickson gained 5 yards on a 4th and 3 to keep the drive alive – and saw an apparent interception and 92-yard touchdown return by Ventura's Scott Garner called back on a roughing the passer penalty. Finally, Dickson scored from a yard out to make it 16-9 with 5:10 left in the game.

On the conversion, the snap appeared to be low and got past holder Justin Grantin. The ball bounced around in the Valley backfield before kicker Paul Landon fell on it. Then Garner landed on Landon and was flagged for a late hit. Undoubtedly still frustrated over losing the interception and touchdown, Garner said something as he walked off the field, was flagged again for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected from the game.

The 30 yards in penalties moved the kickoff to the Ventura 40, and Valley elected to go for the onsides kick. That strategy proved effective when Valley's Kevin Benford recovered the ball in mid-air at the Ventura 25. This time, it took the Monarchs six plays to score with Dickson again carrying the ball into the end zone, this time from 2 yards out with 2:24 left.

But again, the conversion proved to be a problem. This time the snap seemed better, but in the windy conditions the ball still never got placed. The missed conversion attempt left Ventura ahead, 16-15. And this time, on the onsides kick attempt, the ball went out of bounds after being touched by a Pirate, giving Ventura possession. Two first downs by Michael Lee enabled the Pirates to run out the clock and escape with the win.

Before the winds started, the teams traded short field goals in the first quarter. The game had a sloppy start as the teams combined for three turnovers in the first five minutes, but Valley got the game's first points on a 24-yard field goal by Landon with 8:08 left in the quarter. The Monarchs got the ball after Anthony Kahill knocked the ball out of Mondol's hands and Alex Origel recovered at the Pirate 45. But Ventura got a short field goal of its own when it got the ball back with Reveles connecting from 23 yards out to cap a 14-play drive with 3:46 left in the quarter.

With both teams relying heavily on the ground game, it's no surprise that each side had a pair of standout backs. Lee led Ventura with 84 yards on 21 carries while Bostic added 74 yards on 20 attempts. For Valley, Dickson had a game-high 101 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries while Walker added 88 yards on 17 attempts.

With the win, Ventura improves to 4-3 overall but remains just a game off the pace in the WSC Pacific Division with a 3-1 record. Valley falls to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the division.

Ventura Pirates 16
L.A. Valley Monarchs 15

Saturday, October 20, 2007 – 7 pm – Monarch Stadium – Valley Glen
WSC – Pacific Division

1st Quarter:    
LA – FG Landon 24 yds 8:08 (3-0)
V – FG Reveles 23 yds 3:46 (3-3)

2nd Quarter:   
V – Lee 1 yd run (Reveles kick) 14:57 (10-3)
V – Bostic 3 yd run (kick wide left) 1:44 (16-3)

3rd Quarter:   
No Scoring

4th Quarter:
LA – Dickson 1 yd run (run failed – bad snap) 5:10 (16-9)
LA – Dickson 2 yd run (run failed – mishandled snap) 2:24 (16-15)

Team Statistics:
First Downs:  LA Valley 12 (9 rush, 1 pass, 2 penalty), Ventura 16 (8 rush, 6 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds:  LA Valley 48-199, Ventura 52-169
Passing Yds:  LA Valley 38, Ventura 117
Comp-Att-Int:  LA Valley 3-12-2, Ventura 9-20-0
Return Yds:  LA Valley 65, Ventura 98
Sacks-Yds:  LA Valley 1-12, Ventura 1-8
Fumbles-Lost:  LA Valley 1-1, Ventura 1-1
Penalties-Yds:  LA Valley 5-54, Ventura 8-75
Time of Possession:  LA Valley 30:57, Ventura 29:03

Individual Statistics:
Rushing:  LA Valley 5-Dickson 25-101, 15-Walker 17-88, 14-Kidd 3-19, 41-Choule 2-(-1), 7-Jackson 1-(-8); Ventura 20-Lee 21-84, 8-Bostic 20-74, 28-Powell 4-13, 9-Garner 1-5, 33-Mondol 5-(-6), team 1-(-1)
Passing:   LA Valley 7-Jackson 2-9-0-37, 4-Grantin 1-3-2-1; Ventura 33-Mondol 9-20-0-117
Receiving:   LA Valley 5-Dickson 2-21, 6-Augustin 1-17; Ventura 28-Powell 4-46, 80-Leith 2-18, 25-Cameron 1-32, 20-Lee 1-14, 32-Whitcomb 1-7
Interceptions-Ret Yds:  Ventura 2-Haulcy-Bateman 1-31, 11-Holland 1-0
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds:  LA Valley 50-Origel 1-0; Ventura 97-Henggeler 1-0
Sacks:  LA Valley 45-Kahill 1-12 (forced fumble); Ventura 60-Robinson 1-8
Punters:   LA Valley 12-Vokos 5-38.6 avg; Ventura 48-Perez 2-33.0 avg
Kick Returns:  LA Valley 9-Benford 3-51, 5-Dickson 1-14; Ventura 2-Haulcy-Bateman 2-55
Punt Returns:  LA Valley none; Ventura 15-Hartman 2-12
Ejection:  Ventura 9-Garner 5:10 left in 4th quarter
Notes:  Ventura entered 3-3, 2-1 in WSC-P while LA Valley entered 2-4, 1-2 in division. WINDY!!!  There was a regional high wind warning in the region with gusts in the 30-mph range. That started midway through the second quarter and undoubtedly had an effect on the three missed extra points. Grantin played 1st & 3rd quarters at QB for Valley; Jackson played the 2nd and 4th. Ventura was nursing a 16-3 lead and inexplicably went for the first on 4th and 1; Powell was stopped for no gain, giving Valley the ball at the Pirate 34. Dickson scored 8 plays later, including a fourth-down conversion and an apparent interception & 92-yd TD return by Garner that was negated by a roughing the passer penalty. On the conversion, the snap got past holder Grantin; Landon fell on the ball and Garner jumped on him. Garner was flagged for roughing, complained and was flagged again for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected. Valley kicked off from the Ventura 40 and tried an onsides kick; Benson recovered for the Monarchs. Dickson's 2nd TD came 6 plays later. But again the snap & holder misfired on the conversion try, leaving Ventura ahead. Valley tried another onsides kick but it went out of bounds giving Ventura the ball. Lee then gained a pair of first downs, allowing Ventura to run out the clock.

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