During the pregame warmup, the Moorpark Raiders were so loose that their head coach, Jim Bittner, was “worried, nervous and scared to death.”
So worried, Bittner said, that “if I could write a book it would be ‘How to Determine If Your Team Is Ready to Play.’ ”
“They were awfully loose before the game--too loose,” Bittner said following his team’s 33-10 upset over West Los Angeles. “I didn’t know what to expect because no matter what we told them about West L.A., they remained loose.”
The victory avenged last year’s humiliating 73-40 loss to the Oilers.
“Last year we had to convert linebackers into defensive linemen because we didn’t have any,” Bittner explained. “This year, we have seven or eight true defensive linemen who can play and that’s a plus.”
The Raider offense, which operates without a huddle, struck first when quarterback Ken Lutz capped a seven-play, 45-yard drive with a one-yard run with 6:43 left in the first quarter. Lutz completed seven of 23 passes for 113 yards while passing for one touchdown and rushing for two.
West L.A. answered back early in the second quarter when Oiler quarterback Myron Ashley climaxed a seven-play, 45-yard drive with his own one-yard scoring run.
Moorpark’s Kevin Greene regained the lead for good, 10-7, with 9:29 left in the half with a 45-yard field goal before Lutz boosted the advantage to 17-7 with 4:46 remaining on a six-yard touchdown run.
West L.A. got poor field position on the ensuing kickoff when Rick McCauley took the ball at his 10-yard line and was dumped back at the 5 after reversing his field. Defensive back Millar Aupiu sacked Ashley in the West L.A. end zone for a safety on the following play, increasing Moorpark’s bulge to 19-7.
With 3:59 remaining in the half, the Raiders executed a flanker reverse with wide receiver Paul Davis, whose pass to Ron Haynes in the end zone was good for a 38-yard touchdown and a 26-7 lead.
Neither team could generate much offense in the third quarter, except for a 45-yard field goal by Pablo Ramirez of West L.A. which narrowed the score to 26-10 midway through the period. Moorpark sealed the victory in the final period when Lutz found tight end Kyle Opp wide open in the end zone on a 20-yard play.
“I think in the fourth quarter, West L.A. was worn out,” Bittner said. “I think that they were emotionally drained from last week’s 22-21 victory over Santa Monica.”
Ashley completed 10 of 26 passes for 151 yards and two interceptions for West L.A., and teammate Darrell Meadoh led all rushers with 92 yards on 24 carries.