Ventura College Athletics

Ventura Extends Citrus Cup Streak at Moorpark

A number of Pirates including (from left) Martez Morton (88), Darius Johnson (91), Aleli Tuitasi (43), Calvin Williams (20) and Ralph Navarro (13) persue the ball for a tackle in Ventura's 55-20 triumph at Moorpark on Saturday.
A number of Pirates including (from left) Martez Morton (88), Darius Johnson (91), Aleli Tuitasi (43), Calvin Williams (20) and Ralph Navarro (13) persue the ball for a tackle in Ventura's 55-20 triumph at Moorpark on Saturday.

On the wave of 31 unanswered points in the second and third quarters, the Pirate football team raced to a 55-20 victory over rival Moorpark Saturday night. In claiming a series-record 12th straight Citrus Cup triumph, VC outgained the Raiders 457-280 and forced three Raider turnovers. The fourth-ranked Pirates (6-1, 2-0) were led by the quarterback duo of Alaka'I Yuen and Dino Maldonado who combined for 301 passing yards and three touchdowns and running back Jayden Vargas, who totaled 14 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown.

After Moorpark took the opening kickoff and ran four plays without a first down, the Pirates took over at the Raider 47-yard line and promptly drove 27 yards before Alberto Arroyo hit a 37 yard field goal for a 3-0 Ventura lead. 

The teams traded possessions before the Raiders went 67 yards in three plays for a touchdown, taking a 7-3 lead into the quarter break.

Late in the first quarter, the Pirates took possession after a Moorpark punt, and behind Maldonado, the Pirate offense came to life. The freshman signal-caller came off the bench to complete three passes on a 57 yard drive, the final one a 31 yard scoring strike to a wide-open Terrell Vaughn in the back of the end zone as Ventura took the lead for good early in the second period.

Ventura's defense got into the act on the next possession, recovering a Raider fumble to give the Pirates a short field on offense.

VC took full advantage, taking five plays to cover the 54 yards to paydirt. Maldonado connected with Chris Reaves for a 36-yard pass play to set up Vargas' 3-yard touchdown run. After Arroyo's extra point, Ventura led 17-7 midway through the second stanza.

After another three-and-out by the Pirate defense, Maldonado led the Pirates on a 12-play, 70-yard drive that ate up much of the remaining clock. The push stalled at the MC 3-yard line, but Arroyo connected with a 23-yard field goal to make the score 20-7 for Ventura at halftime.

Yuen returned at quarterback in the third quarter, and the Pirates left little doubt about the outcome of the game very quickly. On the third play of the half, Yuen hit Mark Ferrell in stride for a 63-yard touchdown play, and Arroyo's kick gave VC a 27-7 advantage.

Dom Brown pulled in an interception on the ensuing possession, and Yuen led Ventura back town the field for another score, a 6-yard strike to Dustin Sanchez.

The Raiders managed a long, 75-yard drive on its next possession to pull back to within 34-14 at the end of the third period.

Pirate running back Chuck Wick scored a pair of touchdowns early in the fourth quarter, and Wes Anusiem grabbed a pick-six on Moorpark's next play from scrimmage, taking the interception 62 yards to the house for another score, giving VC a 55-14 margin as the game was well in hand.

Moorpark scored a final touchdown late to make the final 55-20 margin of victory for Ventura.

Yuen was 13-19 in the air for 157 yards and two touchdowns while Maldonado was 11-18 for 144 yards and another score. Wick totaled 51 yards on the ground with two trips to the end zone.

Vaughn led 10 different Pirate receivers with a catch with seven receptions for 71 yards and a score. 

Defensively, Jalen Cooper had nine tackles while Cory Owens recorded six stops, including a pair of quarterback sacks. Brown and Travis Calloway also recorded six tackles in the game.

VC next returns home to host No. 5 College of the Canyons. The Cougars will come calling at the Sportsplex on Saturday Nov. 2 with a 6:00 pm kickoff.