Friday, November 13, 2009

Season Finale at Camarillo H.S.

Our season came to a close last night with a trip to Camarillo H.S. to play the 8-1 Scorpions. The Scorpions sat atop the Pacific View League standings with a 4-0 mark and were heavily favored to win over the Spartans who entered the contest at 3-6, 2-2 PVL.

Another crisp Autumn evening,
perfect for football!

The sun setting on both Camarillo and
the 2009 PVL Frosh Football season.

Coach Mike Muro going over some last minute details with his offensive linemen.

How many games has Coach John Reardon been in in his illustrious career?

5:30 p.m. Kickoff

The Spartans took the opening kickoff and we had, in many ways, our best drive of the season. SIXTEEN plays, 60 yards, we were clicking but could not finish as our last two plays were a dropped pass at the 3 yard line and a lost fumble on a throwback to the QB pass that was wide open for a TD.

Camarillo responded with a very efficient 85 yard drive for a TD to go up 7-0 in the first quarter.

Spartan Offense

The rest of the first half was a see-saw affair with Rio Mesa only gaining an additional 64 yards while we were able to hold the Scorpions potent pass oriented attack to only 40 more yards.

With only 20 seconds left in the second period, we called for a split end reverse pass. The flanker did a great job and was 10 yards behind the defender for a potential 25 yard, game tying TD. As he got ready to toss the TD bomb a crazy thing happened, our split end simply dropped the ball as he got ready to throw it. A Camarillo linebacker scooped up the ball and ran 75 yards with it for a TD to end the half with a 14-0 lead for the Scorpions.

How would we react to such a devastating play?

Spartan Defense

The answer to the question was that we would continue to play tough defensive football in the third quarter, holding Camarillo to only 34 yards on 10 plays!

The Scorpions played great defense as well holding us to 25 yards on 10 plays in the quarter.

After three periods it was still Camarillo 14-0.

Fourth Quarter Action

Camarillo finally put the game away with two very solid drives of 84 and 60 yards to start the fourth quarter that both resulted in TDs.

Final Score: Camarillo 28 - Rio Mesa 0

Final "Afterglow" of the season

In a society that stresses winning at all costs and scoffs at those who don't win constantly, a 3-7 seasons is hard to stomach.

For us, as a Freshman coaching staff, the goal has always been to take a group of 14 year olds and do two things. First, teach them the fundamentals of the great game of football. Secondly, make them better, more responsible young men than when we first started practicing in August.

I think, because of the great coaches that I get to work with, we accomplished both of these goals. As we saw other teams at all levels in our area who were also having rough seasons seemingly roll over and give up at the end of the season, our kids kept battling up to and including last night's season finale. I am also very proud that we finished the season with 42 of the 43 players we started with back in August.

So, my 40th season of coaching high school football in Ventura County comes to an end and now it is on to a third season of coaching American football in Europe. The 2010 campaign will see me leaving Italy's Catania Elephants to coach the Hässleholm Hurricanes of the Swedish American Football League. It should be a GREAT year in Hässleholm. Laurie and I are excited about the incredible prospects for next season's on and off the field experiences.

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