Ventura High players celebrating their rivalry win.
by Maryssa Rillo
The Ventura High School Cougars took on the Buena High School Bulldogs on Friday, October 25th at Larrabee Stadium in their annual rivalry football game. The cougars have consistently defeated the bulldogs the past nine years. After Friday night’s win with a 49-28 score, Ventura High accumulated a decade worth of winning streaks against Buena.
“They’re very happy because they know there is a lot of tradition in beating Buena and they don’t want to let down the guys before them,” AB Marin, Ventura High School’s Secondary Coach said.
With slick handoffs by junior wide receiver, Cade Ledesma to senior wide receiver, Zack Rodriguez and rushes for touchdowns by senior half back, Jadon Cline, the Cougars were able to set up a 14-0 lead against the Bulldogs.
“My personal performance was, I know I could have done better, but other than that I felt very accomplished. I felt very happy and I couldn’t have done it without my guys,” Ventura wide receiver, Zack Rodriguez said.
Though, Ventura came into the game ready to win, Buena came in hungry and ready to fight. The bulldogs were led by their senior running back, Bruce Powell-Mathis who had two touchdowns against the cougars.
“I think we gave up too many points to Buena, but I am very happy with the way our offense played. They actually kept us in the game and kept us ahead,” Curt Garner Ventura’s Defensive Coordinator said.
Senior running back for the Cougars, Dane Kapler, was also able to find multiple pockets where he could rush the ball. Kapler had a touchdown on 16 carries Friday night.
“I’m excited. I’m excited for our guys. I feel like they came out and prepared all week to perform on Friday night, tonight, and they did that,” Ventura’s Head Coach, Tim Garcia said.
Friday night wasn’t only a big night for the Cougars because of the rivalry tradition, but it was also senior night. Friday night was the last rivalry football game and last league game at home for 24 Ventura High School seniors.
“I am very happy for the seniors. No one wants to be the class that loses to Buena, so they really want to keep it going. They haven’t lost to Buena,” said Coach Garner.
At the end of the game, Ventura High flooded the field with black and yellow as the team celebrated their victory with the Suzanne Brown Memorial Trophy while chanting, “ten more years.”
“It feels amazing. Team effort, everything was energetic, it was all outstanding. Ten years in a row. Big ole smile on my face,” Rodriguez said. “It added way more motivation. These next few years, these kids are going to grind their butts off to get another 10 years.”
Though this victory is huge, the season isn’t over yet. The Ventura Cougars take on the Channel Islands Raiders, away on Friday, November 1st. The team needs this last victory in order to make playoffs.
“Next week we are going to do the same thing. We are going to dominate we’re going to penetrate and we’re going to take a W,” Rodriguez said.