BUENA STOPS THE RUN, 12-9
On fourth and goal from the three-yard line Friday night and with 25 seconds remaining, Thousand Oaks High was going to run right, just as it had the previous seven plays.
The thinking was simple and practical: Get behind right rackle Rick McCathron’s 6 foot, 4 inches and 245 pounds and dig.
“We just knew they run behind their big guy in crucial situations,” Buena Coach Rick Scott said. “I would, too.”
Steve Rudisill, however, never made the end zone and was wrapped up on the five as Buena upset the Lancers, 12-9, in a non-league football game at Thousand Oaks.
“We just missed a block in there,” said Thousand Oaks Coach Bob Richards, who eschewed a field-goal attempt to try to tie the score.” “The way their defense was set up, they were looking for the quarterback keeping on the pass option.”
The odds, however, were with Richards. In their only sustained drive of the second half, the Lancers took possession on the Bulldogs’ 37 and 4:07 left. In nine of 10 plays, Thousand Oaks ran right, and gained yardage on all but one. Make that two.
The loss was the first for the Lancers since last Oct. 16, a one-point loss to Westlake. They had gone undefeated for nine games.
For Buena, its second win of the season could not have been sweeter. Scott took command of a program this year that had won only five games in the past two seasons.”
“This is a great win for the kids,” Scott said. “There were some kids who started to doubt themselves after watching the films. We had a lot of heart-to-hearts. But tonight, we had some kids really bow their heads and play their butts off.
“It’s going to give us some confidence, which is basically all our program needed the last five or six years.”
Ty Hewitt’s 44-yard field goal with 3:31 left in the third quarter turned out to be the game-winner.
Thousand Oaks generated little offense in the first half. The Lancers gained only 71 yards--all but 17 rushing. Their only touchdown came compliments of the defense, when safety Rudisill scooped up a fumble and ran 95 yards down the left sideline 54 seconds into the second quarter. Buena was trying to convert a first and goal on the Lancers’ six when the ball popped loose.
John Mogler’s kick was wide left to leave the score tied, 6-6.
Mogler atoned for the miss with a 23-yard field goal with 4:33 left in the half to give the Lancers a 9-6 lead.
Buena scored first when tailback, Tony Williams plowed in from the one, six plays after linebacker Jason Phipps intercepted quarterback Anthony Gonzales’ first pass of the game and returned it 16 yards to the Lancers’ 20.
Hewitt added a 21-yard field goal with 1:36 left in the half to tie the score, 9-9. The Bulldogs gained 109 first-half yards.
Thousand Oaks’ vaunted rushing attack, a staple of last season’s Coastal Conference championship team, managed only 133 yards. Gonzales completed just 2 of 7 passes for 17 yards.
Buena quarterback Jason Isaacs completed 14 of 26 passes for 132 yards with a variety of screens and short throws that kept the Lancers off guard.