High school football: Battle of Oxnard is must-see game

Los Angeles Times Sports 1 day ago

If you got to Oxnard High for the rivalry game against Pacifica late on Friday night, there was only one option.

“It was standing-room only,” Oxnard coach James Moreno said.

In rivalry football games, fans will usually come out no matter how good or bad the matchups just to claim bragging rights. But this time, both schools were loaded with talent. Pacifica came in unbeaten and one of the favorites in Southern Section Division 6. Oxnard had one loss and is one of the contenders in Division 5.

The key is both schools have been able to keep the talent in Oxnard instead of losing players to Westlake Village Oaks Christian or Ventura St. Bonaventure. Oaks Christian has a van that picks up students near Walmart.

“That’s what put this game on the map, when Oxnard kids stayed in Oxnard,” Moreno said.

Oxnard (6-1, 2-0) rallied for a 36-27 Pacific View League victory. Running back Xavier Harris rushed for 85 yards and returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Jaden Jones ran for 142 yards and passed for three touchdowns.

“We’ve always had great youth teams and to keep them in Oxnard is something special,” Moreno said.

Valencia rules: Valencia is on the verge of winning its 11th consecutive Foothill League championship after recording its 39th consecutive league win with a 29-27 victory over Newhall Hart. Ty Morrison made a 29-yard field goal in the final minute to clinch it.

It’s quite a tribute to coach Larry Muir, who took over a program that had been overshadowed by the success of Hart and Canyon Country Canyon. He adopted the spread offense, and the rest is history.

“The kids believe in what we’re doing,” Muir said.

More fire fallout: A number of games were postponed or canceled because of the air conditions and other issues related to the wild fire in the San Fernando Valley on Friday, but the Roybal at Los Angeles game had no such issues, though there was a related reason it had to be canceled. A medic who’s also a firefighter did not report for duty at the game. Los Angeles coach Anthony Jackson believes the medic was busy helping out with the city-wide response to the fire. Los Angeles does not have an athletic trainer. Under City Section rules, a certified medical professional must be present at football games.

Chino Hills surprise: The Chino Hills football coach and athletic director both resigned this week. That makes the Huskies’ 28-25 win over La Verne Damien even more stunning. With all the turmoil, players and the remaining coaches were able to stay focused.

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