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Quarterback injuries ‘throw off’ Raiders’ chances against Saddleback

Moorpark Raiders players dragged over the goal line as Saddleback plunges in for a score Photo credit: Angel Ziese

Moorpark Raiders players dragged over the goal line as Saddleback plunges in for a score Photo credit: Angel Ziese

By Robert Gonzales

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Another home game, another offensive struggle.

The same script continues as the Raiders struggle to find their quarterback. Unfortunately, for Coach Mike Stuart he left the game with more questions than answers about his future starting quarterbacks.

Ethan Postler #16, freshman, quarterback, took a big hit to the ribs as he opened up on a pass with 2:40 left in the first half and would not return for the rest of the game.

“I think they’re doing a protocol for the concussion just to see if he’s feeling okay head-wise,” said Coach Stuart when asked about Postler’s condition.

Bryce Viole #8, freshman, then took over as quarterback until he was injured running outside of the pocket for a first down just before the start of the fourth quarter.

After the game, Viole was in severe pain. Screaming as he struggled to take off his equipment, he was taken to the hospital to get X-rays on his shoulder.

“This is on fire,” Viole said. “I’m already not playing next week, I’m just pissed off.”

The hit on Viole looked dirty, as it came in late as he was falling out of bounds, and this riled up the Moorpark sideline. Defensive back Tony Williams pinned down Viole, shaking his head as he got up.

Tension increased as both sides tried to defend their own players. Three Saddleback players pushed and shoved as they tried to escape the Moorpark sideline. Moorpark players were determined to step in and protect their quarterback lying on the ground.

Saddleback scuffle.jpg

Players get into scuffle on the Moorpark sideline after late hit on Raiders QB Bryce Viole

Much of the fight was instigated by the late hit but in football, players have to maintain their composure regardless if the retaliation seems justified. So when the referee announced unsportsmanlike conduct for both sides, the crowd booed in an enraged uproar.

“I don’t know how they don’t get in trouble for hitting our coach in the face,” said Louis St. Pierre, #89, freshman, tight end, and one of the players on the sidelines during the scuffle.

The penalties canceled out, and the Raiders were down another quarterback.

Tommy Silva, #15, freshman quarterback took over the game with seven seconds left in the third quarter and finished out the fourth quarter with just one completion on five attempts for 28 yards and two interceptions.

Although the scuffle will be talked about most, the game was well out of hand by that time.

Arguing after the call

Moorpark Raiders discuss call with referees after the sideline scuffle Photo credit: Angel Ziese

The game actually started with an incredible amount of momentum for the Moorpark Raiders.

After the coin toss, the Raiders kick-off team tackled Saddleback at the 10, pinning the Gauchos back on their first possession. On the third play of the game, freshman quarterback Robbie Patterson threw into double coverage and linebacker D. J. Turner intercepted the pass at the Saddleback 22.

The defense gave the offense great field possession, but the Raiders’ offense gained only six yards of forward progress and settled for a field goal.

They couldn’t convert on the third and five, which was a struggle for them last game, when they converted only two of fifteen tries. The Raiders need to find a way to score on turnover opportunities like that one, going forward.

The defense continued a strong showing when Ivory Jackson, defensive end transfer from Texas Tech, sacked Patterson for a two-yard loss and helped force a defensive three and out the next drive.

The first down of the game came on a 10-yard strike by Saddleback’s Patterson five minutes into the first quarter. That drive ended in more good news for the Gauchos as they scored their first touchdown of the game with a one-yard by Jerome Johnson in a rush.

The Moorpark offense didn’t get any first downs in the first quarter and continued its ineptitude four minutes into the second quarter until Ethan Postler broke that streak with a 13-yard completion to Kyle Peterson. Prior to that first down, the offense had one field goal and four drives ending in a punt, one of them being blocked by Tyler Noble, a sophomore defensive back.

By this time, the defense was already gassed. They had no time to break and eventually the Saddleback offense moved the ball up and down on Moorpark to the tune of 24 unanswered points.

Yasir Berry Catch

Yasir Berry, Saddleback's number 1 receiving option, went off for 6 catches, 118 yards, and 2 touchdowns in win over Moorpark Photo credit: Angel Ziese

The Raiders did enter the red zone twice after gaining a little momentum. They were down so much at that point that coach Stuart elected to go for it on multiple fourth downs.

They ended both drives with two incomplete passes and turnover on downs, instead of taking the six points from the potential two field goals.

The Raiders went into the locker room down 24-3 at halftime. Coach Stuart still had an optimistic outlook with the way the offense started to get things rolling at the end of the half.

“We gotta stop stressing out about the time, we have 40 seconds to make a play,” Coach Stuart said. “I’m gonna try to slow them down, and actually just read the defense a little bit more; you know we just need one little spark to get this thing going.”

Mike Stuart talks to the team

Coach Mike Stuart talks to the team after the 41-3 loss Photo credit: Angel Ziese

Unfortunately, due to injuries that spark never came. Postler finished the game 11 of 20 before exiting. Viole finished seven of 17 with two interceptions before being knocked out of the game as well. The Raiders look onto next week after being beaten 41-3 in this contest.

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