FOOTBALL: The Citrus Cup was up for grabs in the 46th meeting between Ventura and Moorpark on Saturday at the VC Sportsplex. When the night was done, it remained firmly in the grasp of the Pirates for the sixth straight year with VC's 54-21 victory over the Raiders. Quarterback Brad Odeman continued his dominance, breaking his own single-game record with 438 yards passing, including five touchdowns, and 16 different receivers caught passes, including five with one touchdown each as Ventura (4-1, 2-0) scored the most points in series history.
The Pirate Express started quickly once again, as Odeman hit Dylan McDaniel for an 11 yard scoring strike to punctuate VC's first possession of the game with 8:02 remaining in the first quarter. The ensuing PAT attempt failed, and after both teams traded interceptions, the Pirates scored again at the 3:57 mark of the quarter on Aaron Stanton's dynamic 37-yard run. Midway through the run Moorpark appeared to have Stanton down, but the freshman running back landed on top of the Raider defender, preventing his knee from touching the turf. Using his hand to prop himself back up, he finished the run and the touchdown and Kevin Kircher's kick made it 13-0 VC at the end of one period.
Moorpark showed some signs of life with an 11-play, 75-yard drive for a score to begi the second quarter, but the Pirates answered with their own 75-yard drive in 2:23. Paul Harris reached the end zone ona 10-yard scamper to complete the drive with 11:50 left in the first half. VC finished the half with touchdowns on drives of 80 and 74 yards with Riley Smith and Juan Soto catching touchdown passes from Odeman of 35 and 32 yards, respectively. The Pirates held a commanding 34-7 advantage at the break.
VC began the second half with a punt, and Moorpark drove seven plays and 68 yards to paydirt, narrowing the gap to 34-14. But VC 's defense would not let this lead slip away, holding the Raiders to a punt on the next possession, as Odeman hit Paul Harris for a 40-yard touchdown pass with 7:51 remaining in the third quarter to stretch the lead back to 40-14. Following an Isiah Jackson interception for Ventura, Odeman hit Brandon Stedfelt for a 1-yard scoring pass to stretch the lead to 47-14 early in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirate reserves gained valuable experience, as quarterback Marc Evans hit Kevon Mitchell for a 7-yard scoring strike. Kricher's kick made it a 40-point Pirate lead, 54-14. the Raiders did manage an inconsequential touchdown late to make the final score 54-21.
In addition to Odeman's passing, back-ups Nick Duckworth and Evans passed for 70 adn 18 yards respectively. Odeman was also the leading ground gainer for Ventrua with 52 yards on eight carries. McDaniel had 11 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown while Mitchell hauled in nine passes for 122 yards and a score. David Emanuel led the defense with nine tackles while Jackson and Dejvion Edwards each grabbed an interception. Ronny Camacho recovered Moorpark's only fumble in the game.
The Pirates will take a break from Northern Conference play next weekend, traveling to Misison Viejo to take on Saddleback College in a non-conference affair on Saturday Oct. 12 at 6:00 pm before returning home on Saturday Oct. 19 against College of the Canyons in a key Northern Conference tilt.