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Prep football: ’Cats open with a clunker

West Ranch struggles in all phases in loss

Posted: September 3, 2010 11:47 p.m.
Updated: September 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

OJAI - This was not how the West Ranch High School football team wanted to start its season.

The Wildcat offense sputtered and the defense was equally generous against both the pass and the run as the Wildcats debuted Friday with a 39-14 road loss against Nordhoff High of Ojai.

"I think a lot of people will see the final score and say the defense was the problem for us," said West Ranch head coach Sean O'Brien. "This wasn't a defensive failure. It wasn't an offensive failure. It wasn't a special teams failure. This was just a total systems failure."

West Ranch's defense was vulnerable from the beginning.

Nordhoff (1-0) struck almost immediately, with senior quarterback Jake Logsdon connecting with his favorite receiver, Sean Bettles, for a 43-yard touchdown on the season's opening drive for either team. It was one of three first-half touchdowns, each to a different receiver for Logsdon, who shredded the West Ranch defense throughout the night.

He finished with five scoring passes to four different receivers.

West Ranch quarterback Connor Eichten was not as fortunate.

The senior signal caller completed just two of his first 10 passes, finishing the night 11-of-26 for 109 yards. He threw one interception and didn't produce a touchdown.
Of perhaps bigger concern to the Wildcats was its defense.

The Nordhoff opening-drive score was just the beginning. Ranger running back Isaac Seymour scored on a 13-yard dash on Nordhoff's next drive, extending the lead to 13-0.

West Ranch (0-1) had an answer - a short-lived answer, but an exciting one.

Sophomore Rawston Redick took the ensuing kickoff 95 yards down the Rangers' sideline for West Ranch's first touchdown of the season. The spark, though, didn't last.

A 1-yard, third-quarter touchdown run by Wildcat tailback Ben Milleman, who gained 27 yards on eight carries, was West Ranch's only offensive touchdown.

Nordhoff visited the end zone plenty of times.

The Wildcats never could come close to slowing down the passing attack of Logsdon, who completed 20-of-26 passes for 238 yards. The quarterback answered Redick's touchdown with an 8-yard scoring strike to junior Keegan Shirck midway through the second quarter and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Seymour with 20 seconds to play in the opening half.

Seymour, as a rusher, gained 117 yards on 26 carries.

Logsdon extended the Rangers lead to 32-7 less than 90 seconds into the third quarter, heaving a 5-yard score to Justin Pearson, set up by an Eichten interception.

Milleman scored his 1-yard touchdown on West Ranch's ensuing drive. Nordhoff then closed out the scoring with another touchdown pass from Logsdon to Bettles for 5 yards.

The Wildcats will look to bounce back Friday against Lancaster.



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