Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Venice Game

Newbury Park Panthers (2-2)
Venice Gondoliers (0-3)

Venice has an old-school grass field

LOVE their Gondolier mascot!

LOVE their Gondolier motto!

After a disheartening two week stretch, the Panthers made the long bus ride to Venice for a game with the Los Angeles City Section Gondoliers. We were flying a bit blind as their JV coaches refused to trade videos with us.

At the start of our season, our coaching staff believed that the offensive strength of our team would be our three running backs. Due to injuries, none of those three running backs would suit up for this game. These three key players were joined by three other wounded teammates on the sidelines at Venice H.S. Thus, we only suited out 26 players for the contest against the Gondoliers.

It was a beautiful afternoon for an
American football game

The Pacific Ocean's cool breezes made for comfortable conditions.

Laurie and Mike

Captains Out
#9 Ruben Soria, #24 TJ Davis,
#77 Daniel Weinstein and #68 Nick Krause

Ruben Soria returning
the opening kickoff

Andres Chavarria's first game back
after getting injured in our season opener

TJ Davis in his first start ever as a RB

Normally a WR for the Panthers, TJ filled in admirably in our depleted RB situation.

TJ would score two TDs on the day

QB Sneak + Wedge Blocking =

Venice did a good job
on the ground . . .

. . . and then they passed --
interception by Ian Albaeck

The end of TJ's 80 yard TD scamper

Three yards and a . . .

Ruben Soria scrambling for a big gain


Ian Albaeck and Joey DeVera
breaking up a Gondolier pass

One of Ian Albaeck's game high
seven receptions

At the end of the First Half, the Panthers led 14-6 but we were still our own worst enemy.

Johnny Atilano's huge interception
that he returned 20 yards

More ground and pound by TJ

Soria and Davis breaking up
a Venice pass play

TJ is loose again

I liked the way Laurie framed this
TJ Davis TD run in the Fourth Quarter

Kartik Shenoy's TD saving tackle at
the one yard line

On the next play, Matt Stein tackled
the Venice QB for a game ending
14 yard loss

VENICE (0-4) 6

Cameron Brown was the
Venice Game Hammer Award Winner

Cameron had two great kickoff tackles, one at the Venice 15 yard line and the other at the Venice 10 yard line. He had a team high total of 12 tackles in the game and had some great hits throughout the contest as well.

Next up for the 3-2 Panthers is another non-league home game on Friday, October 2 vs. the 0-5 Simi Valley Pioneers.

This could be a "Trap Game" for us if we were to lose our focus and not respect our opponents.

Reading Is FUNdamental

Another fun, quick, delicious read in Andrea Camilleri's Sicilian mystery series featuring the interesting Detective Montalbano.

Many years ago Mike D'Antuono gave me a Jack Reacher, action packed novel to read. Since that first book, I have read several more and have yet to be disappointed.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Dos Pueblos Game

Dos Pueblos Chargers (2-0)
Newbury Park Panthers (2-1)

The Panthers enjoyed a solid week of practice with a much more focused group of players after last week's 49-25 drubbing at the hands of the Agoura Chargers.

Here come the Panthers!

First NP offensive play of the game,
Ruben Soria to . . .

. . . a wide open Ian Albaeck
for a 51 yard TD, NP up 7-0 early

 The Defense played well early
forcing Three & Outs on the Chargers'
first three possessions of the game

 Ruben Soria returned an Interception . . .

. . . 42 yards

And that is when the wheels came off the wagon for the second straight week.

In the next 7:30 of game time, from the 3:36 mark of the First quarter until there was 8:06 left in the Second Quarter, we would suffer through two lost fumbles, two pick-six interceptions and gave up an 81 yard TD pass on a 3rd and 18 play. We were now down 7-26.

But we would hold fast despite the adversity.

The Defense continued to play hard

And our receivers, like Logan Popok,
kept attacking the ball

Broken Up Pass

At the half . . .

We were still down only 7-26 despite a total of five First Half turnovers.

Our courage would quickly be tested again as Dos Pueblos recovered the Second Half kickoff on a perfectly placed pooch kick.

Defense responds as Ian Albaeck
intercepted a Chargers' pass!

Cole Peterson rushing during our
Second Half opening 16 play TD drive

Ian Albaeck had a GREAT day!

He had 12 receptions for 172 yards and a TD to go with his three tackles, an interception and a broken up pass. 

TJ Davis diving for every yard possible

An Ian Albaeck catch . . .

. . . and another

Logan Popok again . . .

. . . and again

Logan had four catches for 32 yards, three tackles, broke up a pass and returned two Kickoffs for 22 yards.

Ian Albaeck is our "Go to Guy"

Chargers CB played with a club

Mike Contreras giving words of wisdom
after our second straight defeat

The final score was DP (3-0) 26 - NP (2-2) 16. We had a total of eight turnovers in the game that were the obvious difference in the two teams on this day.

On the plus side, we all felt that our boys fought hard to the end despite the obstacles.

Up next is another non-league game against a Los Angeles City Section squad next Friday, September 25, at Venice H.S. The Gondoliers' JV team is 0-3 on the campaign.

Reading Is FUNdamental

This was a the fifth book that I have read in Andrea Camilleri's wonderful Detective Montalbano series set in a fictional town in Sicily.

Camilleri has written another page turner that is equal parts crime solving, Sicilian cuisine and Sicilian culture. Can't wait to get started on his next book that awaits me at the Camarillo Public Library.