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Westlake Ambushes Camarillo

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

George Contreras never did quite get a handle on this year’s version of the Westlake High football team.

There was the preseason promise. Then, along with 5 losses to start the season, there was a slew of injuries. By Thursday night at Thousand Oaks High, 27 players were dressed to play, something of a high-water mark in recent weeks.

Before his game against playoff contender Camarillo on Thursday, Contreras was asked if the Warriors were ready.

“I’m not sure,” he said, “if they’re ready for Camarillo or if they’re ready for ski season to start.”

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Hold the lift lines. Westlake (2-8 overall, 2-4 in Marmonte League play) pulled a mammoth 30-10 upset of Camarillo as sophomore quarterback Todd Preston threw 2 second-half touchdowns and ran for another.

Camarillo fell to 4-6, 3-3 in league play and will miss the playoffs unless Newbury Park defeats Royal tonight.

The victory was a measure of revenge for Westlake, which last season was denied a playoff berth after losing to Camarillo.

“Hopefully we prevented them from going this year,” said Westlake fullback Keith Burke, who rushed for a game-high 53 yards and a touchdown.

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Burke’s touchdown sparked a 27-0 second-half for Westlake, which had lost 3 in a row since defeating Simi Valley, 36-0, for its only previous win. The senior plunged in from the 1-yard line with 7:42 left in the third quarter to bring the Warriors to within one, 10-9.

Preston then tossed second-half scoring passes of 34 yards to Matt Wolcott and 67 yards to Seamus Gibbons to break the game open.

Preston’s 1-yard keeper with 44 seconds completed the scoring. Preston was 5 for 12 for 149 yards.

“These kids were the survivors,” Contreras said. “A great night for our senior kids.

Defensively, Camarillo quarterback Wes Nathaniel was intercepted twice in the second half. The Scorpions, who had averaged nearly 160 yards a game rushing, gained only 35.

“The nice thing about this,” Contreras said, “is that from here on, the only teams to end like this will be CIF champions.”

With a victory, he meant.


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