Canoga Park Rallies but Falls Short, 28-15

Times Staff Writer

Canoga Park lost.

But the Hunters lost not so much because three starters were ruled academically ineligible, but because Locke High proved to be a better team.

After trailing by 22 points at halftime, Canoga Park came back in the second half to score 15 points before succumbing Friday night to Locke, 28-15 at Canoga Park.

“We had to shuffle a lot of players around to make up for the players we lost,” Canoga Park Coach Ed McCarthy said. “I think our players did great considering they learned a new position in one week.”


“We should have won the ballgame,” he said. “We had the ball down there on the five and we had the momentum and then. . . .”

They lost the ball. In rare good field position, the Hunters’ Jeff Myers pitched the ball but nobody was there, unless you count Darrin Hagan. Hagan, a Locke defensive back, picked up the pitch and rambled 95 yards for s touchdown.

“That was the turning point,” said Locke Coach E. C. Robinson. “If we didn’t get that fumble it might have been a different game.”

Canoga Park scored its first touchdown on its first possession of the second half. Myers engineered a six-play, 47-yard drive that ended with Myers himself scoring on a seven-yard keeper.

The Hunters’ second score was a little less orthodox. After the Canoga Park defense had shut Locke down to the Canoga Park five, the Hunters got a hand on Hagan’s punting foot. The ball went straight up and then down into the hands of Canoga Park’s Mike Dustman who scored the touchdown.

“They thought they were going to blow us out,” McCarthy said. “And I’m not making any excuses because we lost so many players. I think we did a great job.”


Locke opened the scoring on a 19-play drive that ended with Darrin Hagan spurting 24 yards into the end zone. Hagan ran the conversion and the Saints went up, 8-0. About 10 minutes later, Leon Otis tossed 28-yard pass to Gene Clark for Locke’s second score.

It was a credit to Canoga Park’s defense that the Saints only scored 22 points in the first half. The Hunters sacked Otis four times in the first half for -22 yards. Canoga Park forced a Locke fumble in the middle of the second quarter which gave the Hunters good field position.