Ventura football falls short in second game of season


The Cougars offense running a screen play in the second quarter. Photo by: Miles Bennett

William Maxwell

On Friday, August 31, the Ventura High School Cougars took on the Dos Pueblos High School Chargers in Larrabee stadium. This was only the second game for the Cougars, who started off the season 0-1, losing to Santa Barbara by a score of 32-26. This was Dos Pueblos’ third game of the season, who started off with a win 31-24 over Buena, and a loss 49-0 against Pacifica putting them at a record of 1-1.

The VHS Cheer Squad begins to rally the crowd after a successful play by the Cougars. Photo by: Miles Bennett

The Cougars received to start off the game. The momentum swung in Ventura’s favor after Junior Zack Rodriguez (#80) stripped a Dos Pueblos player, giving Ventura the ball near the redzone. A few plays later, the Cougars got on the board after a touchdown run by Senior Noah Conboy (#8) followed by the PAT of Junior Rourke Rieman (#18). The Cougars had two more chances to score in the first quarter, however the two field goal attempts were missed. Dos Pueblos remained scoreless throughout the first, leaving the score 7-0 with the Cougars on top.

With 10:22 left in the second quarter, Jesse Mollkoy (#3) from Dos Pueblos kicks a field goal, making the score Ventura 7, Dos Pueblos 3. With four minutes left in the half, Junior TJ Barlow (#5) makes a big play bringing up 4th down, where Dos Pueblos’ pass is incomplete, turning the ball over to the Cougars. The Cougars could not capitalize. Late in the second quarter, both teams were exchanging penalties back and forth. With 27 seconds left in the half, Mollkoy drills another field goal, making the score 7-6– Ventura still on top. After receiving the kick-off, Ventura decides to take a knee and let the clock run out to half time, still holding on to the lead.

The Cougars offense running a screen play in the second quarter. Photo by: Miles Bennett

The Cougars first possession of the second half begins at their own 18 yard line, but the drive is ended early due to an interception that was deflected off of Junior Jadon Cline’s (#17) facemask. With 6:01 left in the third quarter, Mollkoy of Dos Pueblos makes yet another field goal, taking the lead away from the Cougars making it 9-7. With 1:57 seconds left in the quarter, a big run by Conner Lee (#1) of the Chargers followed by the PAT makes the score 16-7.

With 9:00 minutes left in the game, Rieman comes back with a field goal to make the score 16-10, Chargers still on top. The Chargers answer with another big run, making the score 23-10. Cline from Ventura runs 62 yards to the endzone making the score 23-17. The Cougars force a three and out on the Chargers next possession, giving them the ball on their own 36 yard line. A personal foul by Dos Pueblos puts the Cougars on the opposite side of the field, where Junior Carson Willis (#1) connects with Rodriguez for 30 yards, putting the Cougars on the 14 yard line going in. A jump ball to Barlow in the back corner of the endzone comes up incomplete, making it 3rd down and 9 on the 13 yard line. A 4 yard run by Conboy makes it 4th and 5th where the Cougars decide to go for it with 59 seconds left in the game. Willis scrambles and connects with one of his receivers in the back of the end zone, followed by the PAT of Rieman gives the Cougars the lead with a score of 24-23 with 50 seconds left in the game.

The Cougars heading towards the end zone in the first quarter. Photo by: Miles Bennett

Riemans kickoff is out of bounds, giving the Chargers the ball on their own 40 yard line. Dos Pueblos completes a pass, moving them to the opposite 46 yard line. A big hit by Barlow forces a bad pass that comes up incomplete. The Chargers complete their next pass, advancing them to the 30 yard line. The next play, the Chargers running back is forced out of bounds at the 28 yard line, sending in Mollkoy to attempt a field goal. The snap and hold are there, and Mollkoy makes the field goal, giving Dos Pueblos the lead with a score of 26-24. With 0.3 seconds left in the game, there is only time for the kickoff, where the Chargers secure the tackle, as well as the victory. Conboy added, “I feel like we played good enough to win that game, there was just little mess ups here and there that really costed us in the long run.”