Los Angeles Preps: Rodney Stanley
November, 19, 2011
By Tim Haddock | ESPNLosAngeles.com
VENTURA – In the blink of an eye, Ventura running back Conner Armstrong swept across the field and into the end zone on his first carry to score a 76-yard touchdown.
By the end of the first quarter, Ventura was up by three touchdowns in its first-round CIF Southern Section Western Division playoff game against Dominguez.
Behind Armstrong’s 235-yard, three-touchdown night, Ventura, the fourth-seeded team in the Western Division playoffs, easily handled Dominguez, 41-14, scoring early and often on Friday night at Ventura High School.
Armstrong scored on runs of 76, 48 and 30 yards. He scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and Ventura was up 21-0 before Dominguez knew what hit them.
A 5-foot-7 running back is what hit the visiting Dons. The run-oriented offense that Dominguez (7-4) uses doesn’t allow for quick scores or explosive plays. Playing with a three-touchdown deficit is not how Dominguez coach Keith Donerson expected to open the playoffs.
“It’s very challenging,” Donerson said. “It’s tough to come from behind.”
Even though Ventura (11-0) jumped out to an early lead, Cougars coach Brad Steward said he expected his players to keep their intensity up. Ventura was up 28-8 at halftime, but the game was far from over.
“I didn’t think so at all,” Steward said. “They did move the ball. We were fortunate we scored the first time we touched the ball.”
VENTURA -- It has been nearly a month since Oxnard linebacker Adrian Padilla stepped on a football field.
He suffered a concussion in a game against San Luis Obispo in the second week of the season. Padilla needed brain surgery to reduce the swelling in his head and spent nearly three weeks in a hospital recovering.
He was released Monday and was an honorary captain for the Oxnard football team Friday night in his team’s game against Ventura.
Ventura won the game, 42-7, to keep its undefeated record in tact.
The Oxnard players, coaches and fans, meanwhile, reveled in Padilla’s return. The Oxnard players have patches on their helmets with the initials A.P. and the No. 25, the number Padilla wears. Half the money raised from the 50-50 raffle at the game on Friday night was donated to the Padilla family to help pay for medical bills.
Once the game started, however, Ventura (6-0) took control and rolled to its sixth win in a row.
Ventura quarterback Rodney Stanley threw for 217 yards and four touchdowns. Leo Camacho was his favorite receiver, hauling in four passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
Hunter Winans made a juggling catch in the third quarter and turned it into a 68-yard touchdown.
Nick Januska returned an interception 88 yards in the fourth quarter to give Ventura a 35-7 lead.
Running back Conner Armstrong capped the night for Ventura with a 21-yard touchdown run with 2:40 to play.
Ventura coach Brad Steward called his quarterback’s performance “workmanlike.”
“He did a nice job of taking what they gave us,” Steward said. “They didn’t have an answer for our pass game.”