Los Angeles Preps: Nick Isham

Football: No. 14 Westlake

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
6:21
PM PT
With several standout players from last season off playing college football nowadays, Westlake hopes it can successfully reload, rather than rebuild. And initially, it appears as if the Warriors have some of the pieces of the puzzle in place to get the job done quickly.

Westlake figures to go as far as Justin Moore takes it this season. In the past, the junior quarterback was an attentive understudy to Nick Isham, a three-year starter before signing with Louisiana Tech. Moore's job won't be any easier following the departure of Nelson Spruce and Tavior Mowry, both of whom graduated after being integral parts in the program in the past.

Nevertheless, optimism remains high on campus. Westlake, after all, is used to dealing with a high turnover. Coach Jim Benkert and his boys have been down this road before.

Here is a closer look at the Warriors:

Team: Westlake

Coach: Jim Benkert, 23rd year.

2010 Record: 12-2, lost in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship game.

Returning starters: 12 total. Seven on offense. Five on defense.

Key players on offense: QB Justin Moore, WR Cody Tuttle.

Key players on defense: DL Justin Solis (Colorado commit), DB Dashon Hunt (UCLA commit), DL John Stuart, DL Shayne Henley, LB David Ortiz.

Difference maker: Moore, who takes over underneath center. It will be interesting to see how much information has been retained thus far and how he applies the things he has learned. One thing is certain: The 6-foot, 175-pounder is a playmaker. If Moore does not get things done with his arm, rest assured, the multifaceted underclassman will get things done with his feet.

Newcomers: WR Jake Rothschiller, LB Kyle Rothschiller.

Not to be missed: vs. Oaks Christian, Thursday Oct. 6. The Warriors will be revenge-minded in this Marmonte League showdown, especially after narrowly losing, 29-28, to the Lions in the Northern Division title game a season ago. When it comes to bulletin-board material, none is needed between these two crosstown rivals. Both know how much is at stake every time they meet.

Coach’s comment: “Here we go again, football time. We like the group we have here too, they all seem to know what is expected of them. These kids understand we don't have many easy games on our schedule. When we step out there on the field, we expect to be challenged most times. Our guys are not going to back down from anyone. We're ready to get things started.''

Final analysis: If the Warriors plan on duplicating their success from last year, plenty will depend on the play of Moore. Good thing for him is, the whole offensive line returns, more than likely a year stronger and wiser. On the defensive side of the ball, the unit also remains largely intact. That said, Westlake appears poised to make some noise again this season, from start to finish.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

LA North: Football recruits

February, 1, 2011
2/01/11
4:57
PM PT
Here are the next round of football recruits from the LA North area and where they are planning to sign Wednesday. St. Bonaventure's Tanner Souza is not only going to Johns Hopkins to play football, he's going as a pre-med major. He will be joining St. Bonanventure alum Sean Reeder, a sophomore offensive lineman, at the school. St. Bonaventure coach Todd Therrien said he's extremely proud to have two of his former players at Johns Hopkins. There are a few more players from St. Bonaventure who could be heading to play college football. Linebacker Cody Kurz is considering Washington or Colorado, according to various reports. Offensive lineman Luke Meyer visited Villanova last week, Therrien said. Eric Scheider and Josh Grejada visited Stonehill College in Massachusetts and might end up playing football there.

Johns Hopkins

Tanner Souza, DB, WR, St. Bonaventure

Louisiana Tech

Nick Isham, quarterback, Westlake

Mesa State (Colorado)

Travis Key, LB, Thousand Oaks

Miami

Matt Goudis, K, Chaminade

Minnesota

Quinn Bauducco, LB, Moorpark
Westlake quarterback Nick Isham earned All-CIF Southern Section Northern Division offensive player of the year honors as selected by the Football Coaches Association.

Isham was joined by four players on the All-CIF Northern Division first team. Wide receiver Nelson Spruce is on the offensive first team. Defensive back Dashon Hunt, defensive lineman Justin Solis and linebacker Max Winsberg are on the defensive first team.

Oaks Christian’s Bill Redell earned Northern Division coach of the year honors. In its first year in the Northern Division, Oaks Christian won the Northern Division championship beating Westlake in the championship game.

Five players from Oaks Christian made the All-CIF Northern Division team. Wide receiver Blair Holliday made the offensive first team. Defensive back Carlos Mendoza and defensive lineman Dillon Van Der Wal made the defensive first team. Receiver and defensive back Jordan Payton and running back and defensive back Ishmael Adams earned All-CIF honors as utility players.

Paraclete was well-represented on the All-CIF Southern Section East Valley Division team.

Quarterback Cameron Carvalho earned offensive player of the year. Defensive back Darian Thompson earned defensive player of the year. Norm Dahlia is the coach of the year.

Paraclete won the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division championship beating Sierra Canyon 14-7 in the title game.

Seven players from Paraclete earned spots on the All-CIF team. Running back Roosevelt Davis and offensive lineman Jacob Grant are on the offensive first team. Defensive back Braydon Maish, defensive linemen Lavonte Barnett, William Pretty and Andre Gonzales and linebacker Jonathon Tovar made the defensive first team.

Sierra Canyon had three players on the All-CIF team. Receiver Shane Harrison is on the offensive first team. Austin McBroom made the team as a utility player. Linebacker Caleb Nickels is a defensive first team selection.

The CIF Southern Section released the teams for all the divisions this afternoon.

LA North: Five things from the weekend

January, 24, 2011
1/24/11
12:23
PM PT
1. The Flintridge Prep boys basketball team set a school record for points in its 103-54 win over Covina at Azusa Pacific University on Saturday. Harvard-bound Kenyatta Smith scored 23 points and had 15 rebounds for Flintridge Prep, which outscored Covina, 22-6, in the fourth quarter. The final quarter was played with a running clock, so the points total for Flintridge Prep could have been much higher. Flintridge Prep made 43 of 71 shots (60.5 percent) in the game, including six 3-pointers. Five players scored in double figures. Robert Cartwright scored 18 points and had seven assists.

2. The Sierra Canyon girls basketball team posted a couple of impressive victories last week. First was a 62-51 Alpha League win over Montclair Prep. The second was a 47-44 overtime win over Canyon. Tori Wells scored a team-high 13 points for Sierra Canyon. The game ended with a 16-2 fourth-quarter run by Canyon to send the game into overtime. Sierra Canyon had a five-point lead at halftime and built a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. Zoe Goss was the only other player from Sierra Canyon to score in double figures. She had 10. Sierra Canyon is only two games over .500 at 11-9. Canyon (18-3) had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

3. A couple of high school football players committed to colleges over the weekend. Valencia High running back Steven Manfro verbally committed to UCLA. He set school records in rushing and touchdowns in his senior season and led his team to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. “I think it’s a great fit. I’m very excited for him,” Valencia football coach Larry Muir said. “He’s a terrific runner, great kick returner. It’s always been his dream school." Manfro gained 2,553 yards and scored 41 touchdowns in his senior season. Westlake quarterback Nick Isham verbally committed to Louisiana Tech. Isham earned Marmonte League MVP honors guiding Westlake to the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship game. He threw for 2,990 yards and 34 touchdowns in his senior season. He compiled a 26-2 record, including a school record 22 wins in a row.

4. The Canyon High football team has a new coach with a familiar face. Rich Gutierrez will take over the team in 2011. Gutierrez is the school’s athletic director and was an assistant football coach at Canyon under former head coach Chris Varner. Varner guided Canyon to its first playoff victory since 2006, the year the Cowboys won a CIF state bowl game under coach Harry Welch. Varner resigned at the end of the 2010 season to spend more time with his family. Gutierrez is no stranger to Foothill League football. After playing at Saugus High, he was an assistant football coach for his alma mater and West Ranch. He also played at LA Valley College before becoming a high school football coach.

5. Cole Seeley, a graduate of Newbury Park High School, has the distinction of being the first AMA Monster Energy Supercross rider to win a race at Dodger Stadium. The supercross series held its first races at Chavez Ravine on Saturday night. The 20-year-old Seeley who lives in Corona won the Western Regional Supercross Lites event. It was the first supercross win of his career. “This week I worked hard on starts and it paid off,” said Seeley. “That makes a big difference in the way the race unfolds when you are out front. This is the first win of my career and it feels great.” Seeley moved into third place in the Western Regional Lites standings after three rounds. He is seven points behind Josh Hansen, the leader in the Western Regional Lites standings.

LA North: Westlake finds it's hard to repeat

December, 13, 2010
12/13/10
8:05
AM PT


It was going to be hard to top the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship game from a year ago.

Westlake won the game, 14-10, over Moorpark in the 2009 Northern Division championship. Westlake had a chance to repeat as champs, but lost to Oaks Christian, 29-28, on Friday night.

Westlake quarterback Nick Isham had a second chance to finish what he started two years ago. Isham broke his collar bone in the championship game against Moorpark in 2009. He had to sit out while freshman quarterback Justin Moore rallied Westlake with a fourth-quarter drive to win the game.

Isham put his team in position to win the game against Oaks Christian. He threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns. He scored his team’s first touchdown on a 10-yard run in the first quarter. He intercepted a pass in the third quarter.

He manufactured a 58-yard drive with 36 seconds left in the game to give his kicker, Alex Ball, a chance to win it with a 41-yard field goal.

Ball’s kick had the distance, but the ball hit the goal post. The football bounced back into the end zone as a dejected Westlake team looked on in disbelief.

Westlake and Isham fell short in their pursuit of a second straight CIF football championship. For Isham, it was doubly disappointing. A year after having to sit out of the championship game, he did everything right to put his team in position to win this year’s championship game.

It was a great win for Oaks Christian. It was its first tour through the tough Marmonte League and its first championship in its first year playing in the Northern Division.

Oaks Christian quarterback Richie Harrington said after the game there was some justice to winning by one point.

In the Northwest Division championship game last year against Gardena Serra, Oaks Christian lost 42-41.

The football gods redeemed Oaks Christian. Those same football gods owe Isham at least a couple of wins.

Northern Division championship: Oaks Christian 29, Westlake 28

December, 11, 2010
12/11/10
12:41
AM PT


WESTLAKE VILLAGE – The final 44 seconds of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship game between Oaks Christian and Westlake were about as exciting as they could get.

Oaks Christian won the Northern Division championship, 29-28, scoring a fourth quarter touchdown on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Brett Medders, one of the most unlikely targets on the Oaks Christian roster, at Oaks Christian High School on Friday night.

What happened in the 44 seconds after the touchdown catch by Medders made for a whirlwind of events that made the end of the game a joy and a heartbreak to watch.

Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell called for a 2-point conversion to take the lead rather than kick the extra point and tie the game. Receiver Blair Holliday lined up in a wildcat formation and ran the ball in to give Oaks Christian a one-point lead.

“We knew if we scored, we were going to go for two no matter what,” Oaks Christian quarterback Richie Harrington said. “We didn’t come here to tie or go to overtime. We came here to win the game.”

Westlake had plenty of time to drive down the field and give Alex Ball, one of the most accurate kickers in Southern California, a chance to win the game. Westlake quarterback Nick Isham came up with some clutch completions, two to Nelson Spruce and one to Tre’ Shon Wilson that was tipped by a Westlake teammate and went through the hands of an Oaks Christian defender.

(Read full post)

LA North: Games of the week, CIF championship edition

December, 9, 2010
12/09/10
12:14
AM PT
The Westlake football team will be playing its second rematch game in as many weeks against a Marmonte League rival. Oaks Christian will get a chance to do what Westlake did in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs: Avenge a Marmonte League loss.

Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell expects his team to play better in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship game against Westlake. He expects Westlake to play better, too.

Westlake, though, might be a little undermanned for the game at Oaks Christian High School on Friday night.

[+] EnlargeMowry
Tim Haddock/Special to ESPNLosAngeles Mowry


Running back Tavior Mowry is nursing what Westlake coach Jim Benkert calls a tweaked ankle. Mowry injured his ankle five weeks ago, but re-aggravated it in the semifinal game against St. Bonaventure. He was on crutches on Sunday, but was walking without pain on Wednesday, Benkert said.

“He says he’s going to play,” Benkert said.

Westlake beat Oaks Christian, 31-12, the first time the two teams met in the fourth week of the season.

[+] EnlargeHarrington
Tim Haddock/Special to ESPNLosAngeles Harrington


Oaks Christian was a team in transition the first time the two teams played. It was the first start for quarterback Richie Harrington, who took over for Trevor Gretzky, sidelined with a season-ending shoulder injury.

It was also the first game back for receiver Jordan Payton and defensive end John Van Der Wal, who were sitting out the first three games of the season recovering from injuries of their own. Payton, who’s headed to USC next season, is coming off a three-touchdown game against Valencia in the Northern Division semifinals.

Van Der Wal is headed to Arizona State. He was part of an Oaks Christian defense that held an explosive Valencia offense to 14 points in the first half of the semifinal playoff game.

Redell said he doesn’t want to use having three key players essentially making their season debuts in that first game against Westlake as an excuse, but all three are healthy and have valuable experience this time around.

“I’d rather be playing the Sisters of the Poor,” Redell said. “The best four teams made it to the semis. We’re a greatly improved team since the first time we met. Westlake is outstanding.”

Redell added that he won’t be afraid to take some chances against Oaks Christian.

“We’d have to play our best to have a chance. We’ll have a chance,” Redell said. “We’ll have to gamble a lot. We’re going to have to gamble. That runs the risk of getting behind early. We won’t play conservatively.”

Benkert expects the Northern Division championship game to be much different than the game played in Week 4. Not only is Oaks Christian improved with the play of Harrington, Payton and Van Der Wal, but Benkert said the team has found confidence in running back Ishmael Adams.

“This game, you can throw out what happened the first game,” Benkert said. “This game is about who wants it more. We’re both playing well right now. It’s going to come down to who wants it more. It’s going to be a game that comes down to the wire.”

Benkert added that his players, who won the Northern Division championship last year, are not intimidated by the stage of a CIF championship game. The game will be at the newly built football stadium at Oaks Christian.

“My kids want to play there. They like lots of noise,” Benkert said. “They like it that way.”

In addition to Mowry, quarterback Nick Isham and receiver Nelson Spruce played in the CIF Northern Division championship game last season as juniors.

Benkert said the 2,000 tickets made available to Westlake sold out in a day. The game has crosstown rival appeal – the schools are separated by two blocks – and has a public school vs. private school element.

“I just want to get it going,” Benkert said. “A week of preparation gets long. The faster we can get to the game, the better for us.”

Other games:

Chatsworth (11-2) vs. Fairfax (10-3-1), Friday, 7 p.m. at East Los Angeles College

Chatsworth is one win away from one of the greatest turnarounds in City Section history. Chatsworth is in the championship game of the Division II playoffs a year after going 2-8. Chatsworth has a seven-game winning streak, including a 35-28 win over Palisades in the Division II semifinals. Fairfax has a four-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since Nov. 5 to Palisades. Fairfax beat Arleta, 36-12, in the Division II semifinals.

Sierra Canyon (13-1) vs. Paraclete (12-1), Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Granada Hills High School

Paraclete beat St. Margaret’s, 38-21, in the East Valley Division semifinals. Paraclete’s Roosevelt Davis rushed for 174 yards and teammate Ryan Davis scored three touchdowns against St. Margaret’s. Sierra Canyon beat Yucca Valley, 51-7, in the other East Valley semifinal. Sierra Canyon quarterback Tyler Stewart passed for 331 yards and four touchdowns. Receiver Julian Brooks caught three passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

Boron (12-1) vs. Bishop (12-1), Saturday, 6 p.m.

Boron beat Vasquez, 18-7, in the semifinals of the Northeast Division playoffs. Running back Reggie Heard rushed for 86 yards and scored two touchdowns against Vasquez. Bishop beat Pasadena Poly, 44-14, in the other Northeast Division semifinal. Running back Chance Callahan rushed for 136 yards and scored a touchdown against Pasadena Poly.

Northern Division: Westlake 37, St. Bonaventure 27

December, 3, 2010
12/03/10
11:24
PM PT
WESTLAKE VILLAGE -- Revenge is sweet. And no one understands this better than the members of the Westlake High football team.

All signs pointed to the Warriors finishing up regular-season play with an undefeated record. Ventura St. Bonaventure, however, had other ideas and the Seraphs ended up playing the role of spoiler earlier this year with an unexpected victory over Westlake.

On Friday night, at long last, the Warriors earned a bit of redemption with a 37-27 victory over visiting St. Bonaventure in a Southern Section Northern Division semifinal playoff game.

"Oh yeah, we remember when they beat us, that was a tough loss, you don't get over something like that, it sticks with you for a while,'' Westlake senior Nick Isham said about the Seraphs' 32-31 double overtime victory over the host Warriors in a Marmonte League back in early November.

"We came into this game confident, there was no way we were going to let St. Bonaventure get the best of us again, at our place. We wanted this win and nothing was going to stop us from getting it. We got our revenge.''

With the victory over the Seraphs (11-2), the Warriors (12-1) advance to next week's title game against Westlake Village Oaks Christian, a 42-33 winner over Valencia in the other Northern Division semifinal.

(Read full post)

LA North: No. 8 St. Bonaventure 32, No. 2 Westlake 31

November, 6, 2010
11/06/10
12:56
AM PT


WESTLAKE VILLAGE -- The St. Bonaventure football team brought a sledgehammer to its Marmonte League game against Westlake. The players passed it around the sideline, each member of the defense touching it before the start of every quarter.

Something in that sledgehammer must have rubbed off on the St. Bonaventure players. It took two overtimes, two fourth-quarter defensive stands and a gutsy two-point conversion call in double overtime to beat Westlake, 32-31, ending the 22-game winning streak of the Warriors at Westlake High School on Friday night.

St. Bonaventure’s Cody Kurz said the sledgehammer represented a simple philosophy: Be the hammer, not the nail.

John Lazar/Special to ESPNLA.com
Despite three touchdown passes by Westlake quarterback Nick Isham, it wasn't enough to avoid a double-overtime loss.


Coincidentally, it was Kurz who nailed down the victory for No. 8 St. Bonaventure, catching the two-point conversion pass from quarterback Marc Evans in the second overtime period. It was the only catch of the game for Kurz, and it didn’t even officially count statistically. But his catch set off the St. Bonaventure faithful on a celebration flurry that spilled from the stands and onto the football field.

St. Bonaventure running back Shaun Wick rushed for 119 yards and scored two touchdowns. His second touchdown of the game came in the second overtime. He scored from 10 yards out and cut the Westlake lead to one, 31-30.

Westlake, the No. 2 team in the ESPNLA.com top 25 rankings, scored on its possession in the second overtime, forcing St. Bonaventure to have to score a touchdown to keep the overtime periods and the game going.

But instead of taking its chances with a third overtime period, St. Bonaventure went for two and the win. Evans found a wide open Kurz in the corner of the end zone and gently lobbed the football to him.

St. Bonaventure coach Todd Therrien said the play was his team’s No. 1 two-point conversion. The players had been practicing it all week. It didn’t seem to matter to Therrien that Kurz did not catch a pass the entire game. It didn’t seem to matter that Kurz spent most of the game on the defensive side of the ball.

He was only targeted on one other play, an incomplete pass attempt in the first half. But Therrien said after the game there was little doubt the two-point conversion play would work.

“This was our fourth overtime game,” Therrien said. “We’re 1-2 in the other three. Lost both games on extra points. Why risk it? Let’s go win the game.”

Evans was 24-of-41 for 229 yards passing. He threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions.

(Read full post)

LA North: Game of the week: No. 8 St. Bonaventure vs. No. 2 Westlake

November, 4, 2010
11/04/10
6:25
PM PT

Tim Haddock/Special to ESPNLA.com
Tanner Souza figures to be a key player for St. Bonaventure on Friday in its big game at Westlake.

Big games are nothing new for the Westlake football team. They don’t get much bigger than Friday night’s game against St. Bonaventure.

Westlake, the No. 2 team in the ESPNLA.com poll, is undefeated and has a 22-game winning streak that includes a run through the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs last year.

St. Bonaventure has only one loss this year, 33-32 in overtime, to Oaks Christian in its Marmonte League opener.

If St. Bonaventure, the No. 8 team in the ESPNLA.com rankings, wants at least share of the league title, it needs to beat Westlake.

“We have something they want and they’re used to winning,” Westlake coach Jim Benkert said. “We need to match their hunger.”

Benkert said stirring that hunger is sometimes challenging with high school players. His football team has conquered every challenge so far this season. But Benkert wants to keep his team focused on improving and preparing for another playoff run.

(Read full post)

LA North: The Top 10

November, 2, 2010
11/02/10
8:00
AM PT
1. (1) Westlake (8-0)
If Westlake loses to St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian beats Newbury Park on Friday night, there would be a three-way tie for first place in the Marmonte League. Westlake, St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian each would have 7-1 league records. But Westlake's not going to let that happen, right?

2. (2) Alemany (8-0)
Even Alemany coach Dean Herrington is a little surprised that his team is still undefeated at this point of the season. It looks as if the Serra League isn't that tough after all.

3. (3) St. Bonaventure (7-1)
The St. Bonaventure defense has given up six points in its past three games. The Seraphs shut out Thousand Oaks, 52-0, two weeks ago, and Calabasas, 57-0, last week. St. Bonaventure plays Westlake on Friday night.

4. (4) Valencia (7-1)
Valencia got a bit of a scare against Hart. The Vikings didn't take the lead in the game until the fourth quarter and won 24-17. Valencia running back Steven Manfro rushed for 276 yards and two touchdowns. That gives him 32 TDs in eight games. Next up for Valencia is Golden Valley.

5. (5) Oaks Christian (6-2)
Oaks Christian receiver Blair Holliday caught 10 passes for 130 and two touchdowns in his team's 21-14 win over Moorpark. Fellow receiver Jordan Payton caught 11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Next up for Oaks Chrisitan is Newbury Park.

(Read full post)

LA North: The Top 10

October, 26, 2010
10/26/10
11:08
AM PT
There are three undefeated teams in the LA North top 10. Westlake cruised to win its 21st game in a row. Alemany won a tough game against Crespi to stay undefeated. Chaminade needed to rally in the fourth quarter to beat a pesky St. Francis team. There is one newcomer and one returner to the top 10. Welcome Quartz Hill and welcome back Moorpark.

1. (1) Westlake (7-0)

Westlake cruised to a 38-7 win over Newbury Park. It was the 21st win in a row for Westlake. Quarterback Nick Isham threw three touchdowns. Running back Tavior Mowry scored two touchdowns and rushed for 91 yards. Next up for Westlake is Agoura.

2. (2) Alemany (7-0)

Alemany quarterback Vernon Adams had a hand in every touchdown his team scored in a 28-17 win over Crespi. Adams threw for three touchdowns and scored on a 12-yard run. Next up for Alemany is Loyola.

3. (4) St. Bonaventure (6-1)

Perhaps it was a statement game for St. Bonaventure. The Seraphs beat Thousand Oaks, 52-0. Quarterback Marc Evans threw for three touchdowns and 264 yards. The St. Bonaventure defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns and shut out a good Thousand Oaks team. Next up for St. Bonaventure is Calabasas.

4. (5) Valencia (6-1)

Running back Steven Manfro scored four touchdowns in Valencia’s 52-31 win over previously undefeated Canyon. He has scored 30 touchdowns in seven games. He has 21 rushing touchdowns, seven receiving touchdowns and two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Next up for Valencia is Hart.

5. (6) Oaks Christian (5-2)

Carlos Mendoza scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery and recorded a safety in Oaks Christian’s 65-0 win over Simi Valley. The Oaks Christian defense scored five touchdowns, three on interception returns and two on fumble recoveries. Add in the safety and the Oaks Christian defense scored 32 points. Next up for Oaks Christian is Moorpark.

(Read full post)

LA North: Game of the week: No. 2 Westlake vs. Moorpark

October, 14, 2010
10/14/10
8:51
PM PT

Tim Haddock/Special to ESPNLA.com
Westlake running back Tavior Mowry will be one of the offensive weapons Moorpark will need to worry about Friday.

The Moorpark football team lost only two games last season. Both were to Westlake.

The teams meet again Friday night and Westlake coach Jim Benkert knows Moorpark will be looking for a little revenge.

Westlake, the No. 2 team in the ESPNLA.com rankings, beat Moorpark the first time last year in Marmonte League play. The second time Westlake beat Moorpark was in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship game. Westlake capped an undefeated season by beating Moorpark.

But Moorpark was one of the few teams that challenged Westlake last year.

“Moorpark can give us problems,” Benkert said. “There’s a lot of tradition over there. We’re expecting to play four quarters. Our kids are ready to go.”

Playing four quarters has been a rare occurrence for the Westlake starters. A good example is last week’s 56-6 drubbing of Simi Valley.

Westlake returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Running back Tavior Mowry carried the ball five times for 68 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Nick Isham had two carries for 119 yards and a touchdown. Westlake was up 42-0 at halftime and rolled to its fifth win of the season

Moorpark already has two losses this season. Both losses were heartbreakers. Moorpark lost to Eastlake, 24-21, in its season opener. Two weeks ago, Moorpark lost to St. Bonaventure, 28-25, for its only loss in league play.

Moorpark is coming off a 34-7 win over Calabasas. Quarterback Grant Rohach threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Stanton was the leading rusher with 80 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

(Read full post)

LA North: Five things from the weekend

October, 11, 2010
10/11/10
7:30
PM PT


1. The Westlake football team remained undefeated with a 56-6 win over Simi Valley. It was another ho-hum game for the Warriors. Quarterback Nick Isham threw for 164 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on two carries. Tavior Mowry rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Westlake gained 233 rushing yards. Westlake (5-0) leads the Marmonte League after four games. Four teams are tied for second with 3-1 records. St. Bonaventure beat Newbury Park, 42-14, Oaks Christian beat Royal, 50-20, Moorpark beat Calabasas, 34-7, and Thousand Oaks beat Agoura, 21-12. Thousand Oaks, which lost starting running back Rickey Minyard to a foot injury against Agoura, and Oaks Christian play on Friday night. One of those two teams will fall out of second place. Moorpark will have its hands full against Westlake on Friday night.

2. Two teams from the Serra League are undefeated in nonleague play. Alemany and Bishop Amat will take undefeated records into league play. Alemany shut out Beverly Hills, 53-0, to improve to 5-0. Crespi is 5-1 against nonleague opponents and has big wins against Clovis West and Vista Murrieta. Crespi is coming off a 53-47 win over Woodland Hills Taft. Kenny Stenhouse set another school record with six touchdown passes and threw for 364 yards against Taft. Loyola is 3-3 in nonleague play and is coming off perhaps its biggest win of the season, 39-24, over Valencia, which was No. 8 in the ESPNLA.com top 25 rankings. Alemany, the No. 9 team in the ESPNLA.com rankings, opens Serra League play against No. 13 Crespi on Oct. 22. Crespi plays Bishop Amat in their league opener on Friday.

(Read full post)

LA North: Five things from the weekend

October, 4, 2010
10/04/10
8:48
AM PT


1. The Westlake football team is the only undefeated team in the Marmonte League. After a 31-12 win over Oaks Christian on Friday night, Westlake improved to 4-0 overall, 3-0 in league. Four teams are tied for second place in the Marmonte League standings. Oaks Christian, St. Bonaventure, Moorpark and Thousand Oaks each have 2-1 records in league play. Oaks Christian and Moorpark suffered their first league losses of the season on Friday night. Moorpark lost on a 35-yard touchdown catch by St. Bonaventure’s Jeremy Sanchez in the fourth quarter. Thousand Oaks shut out Royal, 48-0. Receiver Richard Mullaney caught 10 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns for Thousand Oaks.

2. Pretty much everybody knows that Trey Smith, the son of actor Will Smith, plays for the Oaks Christian football team. Oaks Christian has its share of star power with NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky walking the sidelines when his son Trevor is playing and Jay Schroeder, former Raiders and Redskins quarterback, as an assistant offensive coach. What’s not so well known is that Westlake has its own Hollywood following. Kirstie Alley of “Cheers” fame was in the stands rooting for the Westlake football team on Friday night at Oaks Christian High School. She is a friend of quarterback Nick Isham’s family. After the game, after Isham did his television interviews and guided Westlake to a win over Oaks Christian, Alley was on field telling Isham that he made it look so easy. It took almost three quarters for Westlake to start pulling away, but, yes, in the end, Isham made easy work of Oaks Christian.

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