Agoura vs. Moorpark: It is a match up for which the head coaches have mutual respect.
"Coach (Charlie) Wegher does a great job having his teams prepared and we’ve struggled against Agoura,” said Moorpark’s head coach Tim Lins. “They’re a well-coached football team.”
Moorpark comes into the game off a resounding win over Thousand Oaks last Friday night. Agoura comes in having been shutout, but playing respectably, against league powerhouse Oaks Christian.
“They’re a typical Moorpark team,” said Wegher. “They’re big, fast, physical and well-coached. Defensively they’re very solid, so we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game to be competitive in this one.”
Moorpark (5-1, 2-0) defeated Thousand Oaks 44-8 at home last Friday. It ended a three-game losing streak to the Lancers, two of which came last year. The final loss ended the Musketeers 2011 season in the CIF quarterfinals.
“They were ready to go, they were excited to play,” said Lins of his players. “They knew how important the game was. So they were ready.”
Austin Cole, the Musketeers’ senior quarterback completed 13 of 17 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 69 yards on four carries. (Stats are according to the Ventura County Star.)
“Austin Cole had a really nice game,” Lins said. “He rushed the ball well and passed the ball efficiently.”
Moorpark running back Aaron Stanton, also a senior, ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Chad Hansen, a senior wide receiver, had five catches for 92 yards and one TD.
“Aaron Stanton was a spark for us and Chad Hansen played really well at the receiver spot for us,” said Lins. “So, offensively, I was pleased with the effort.
“And (defensive Coordinator) Ron Wilford and our defense always do a really great job getting prepared and they played well, too. His son, (junior linebacker) CJ Wilford, had a really good game, too.”
Tyler Collet, a junior who plays wide receiver and defensive back, had a key interception which he returned for a touchdown in the first quarter for Moorpark.
Agoura (2-4, 0-1) lost to Oaks Christian, 35-0, in Westlake Village last Friday night. But it wasn’t all bad for the Chargers.
“I thought our kids played really hard,” said Wegher, who added with a chuckle: “And I think we did better than they (his players) thought they were going to do.”
The Lions capitalized on two intercepted passes returned for touchdowns. The first, a 100-yard jaunt by Cameron Judge, stopped an Agoura drive with the Chargers only down 7-0.
“I think there is a moral victory that you take away from it,” Wegher said. “We did hold their offense to three touchdowns and we did some things better than we have in the past few weeks.”
For Moorpark, which takes on Royal at home next week, then faces Oaks Christian in Westlake Village on October 26 – a game which may decide first place in the Marmonte League West Division – no letdown is expected after the big win over Thousand Oaks.
“Agoura has always played us really, really tough and they’ve given us fits,” said Lins. “So we’re going to have to prepare and be ready. It’s our homecoming and it’s at our place, which is good.”
Wegher said Richard Poutier, the Chargers’ senior quarterback, who had missed four games due to an injury but started and played most of the game vs. Oaks Christian, will start again for Agoura.
But, Jack Barmasse, who also played against the Lions, will likely get playing time due to how well he played in Poutier’s absence.
“Jack really played well when he had the opportunity,” Wegher said. “So we’ll probably play Richard most of the time, but I’d like to get Jack in for a couple of series like we did this last game. He’s earned it.”
Last week there was a fireworks show at halftime to celebrate Community Appreciation Night at Moorpark High School. With homecoming on Friday, the Musketeers hope for two consecutive weeks of festivity.
And, of course, the Chargers hope to make the atmosphere more somber for the home team and its fans.
Wegher said there's one aspect of playing at Moorpark High that is more welcoming than playing at his alma mater, Westlake. The away team's fans sit on the same side as the home team at Westlake, which has no bleachers behind the road's team's sideline.
"At least all the stands are not on one side," Wegher said. "That's the worst. That's hard. I never liked playing (as a coach) at Westlake. At Moorpark, your fans are behind you. It's a nice stadium and they've got new field turf.
"I don't think Moorpark is worse than any other place to go play."