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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL : Nathaniel Exercises Option to Pass : Camarillo Quarterback Takes to Air to Down Newbury Park

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Wes Nathaniel does not play quarterback for Camarillo High because he throws picturesque passes. He does not play quarterback because he can pick apart secondaries with a flick of his wrist.

No, Wes Nathaniel plays quarterback because he runs the Scorpions’ option offense so well. In other words, he lets his feet do his talking.

Until Friday night, that is. Nathaniel completed 9 of 15 passes--including 5 of 6 in Camarillo’s final, game-winning drive--for 103 yards to lead the Scorpions to a 17-13 victory over Newbury Park in a Marmonte League game at Camarillo.

Nathaniel previously had completed only 17 of 45 this season, which wasn’t exactly a boost to his self-image.

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“I was hoping they’d let me pass a lot tonight,” Nathaniel said. “The last couple of games hurt my confidence, but this brought it all back.”

And the final drive, covering 97 yards and starting with 3:22 left, brought Camarillo (3-3 overall, 2-1 in league play) back into the Division II playoff scope. Fullback Roger Teoli finished the drive with a 1-yard burst off right tackle with 15 seconds remaining.

“We knew this was a big game,” Nathaniel said, “because we’ve already lost to Thousand Oaks. We needed this one to have a chance at the playoffs.”

Camarillo led, 10-7, after Kris Kirksey’s 12-yard touchdown run with 7:16 left in the third quarter, but Newbury Park (1-4-1, 1-1) answered quickly.

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Quarterback Wayne Cook, who completed 8 of 15 for 81 yards, threw 14 yards to receiver Danny Madsen for a touchdown less than 2 minutes later. The Panthers held the 13-10 lead until the final 15 seconds.

“I think the offense showed a lot of character,” Camarillo Coach Carl Thompson said. “We had to win this one.”

Newbury Park scored first on Jason Sands’ 1-yard dive over left tackle with 7:33 left in the first half.


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