2016-09-09 / Sports
Simi Valley vs. Moorpark is a family affair
Vicente Olmedo, Simi Valley High’s senior center, will line up against his foster brother, Moorpark linebacker Derrick Rodriguez.
“We’ve been training together for five years,” Olmedo said. “We have never played each other before. We’ve been talking about this game since the schedule came out. It’s something we’ve looked forward to.
“We didn’t think it would happen.”
The schools haven’t faced each other since 2011, when the Musketeers won 20-0 at home. Simi Valley has been in the Canyon League for the past three seasons while Moorpark, a first-year member of the Camino League, previously toiled in the Marmonte League. The squads kick off at 7 p.m. at MHS.
Olmedo and Rodriguez played together in eighth grade with the Simi Valley Patriots youth team. Olmedo suited up at receiver and defensive end while Rodriguez was a quarterback and linebacker. If they happen to cross paths on the gridiron tonight, there won’t be time for hugs.
“Expect us both to go 100 percent on that play,” Olmedo said.
In another familial twist, former Simi Valley wide receiver Christian Lancellotti currently suits up for Moorpark. Lancellotti’s older brother, Sam, graduated from Simi Valley in the spring. Sam Lancellotti, one of the best receivers ever to suit up for the Maroon Mob, hauled in a single-season school record 16 touchdowns in 2015.
Both teams opened the season with wins but stumbled last weekend.
“It was a tough loss,” Moorpark running back Nikos Booth- Fortier said of the setback to Pacifica. “This week we’ve been pretty focused, trying to get our heads back in the game.
“We have to keep fighting all the way for four quarters.”
Booth-Fortier notched his second straight 100-yard performance, rumbling for 136 yards on 23 carries.
Safety Jeremy Harris and Rodriguez played well for the Musketeers.
“Derrick Rodriguez has been very consistent,” Moorpark head coach Tim Lins said. “He’s a very solid, consistent, reliable player. . . . He doesn’t make mistakes.”
The Pioneers moved the chains against Rio Mesa, but they couldn’t capitalize on any of their red zone trips.
“We drove up and down that field so many times,” Simi Valley quarterback Cole Hauptman said. “We got in the red zone and dropped two touchdowns. I overthrew the ball on another and we missed two runs.”
Simi Valley has spent this week of practice focused on playing clean football.
“We have to take care of little mistakes and make sure everyone’s dialed in,” Simi Valley head coach Ryan Taggart said.
“We have to listen to our coaches,” Hauptman said. “It’s less of us trying to take it upon ourselves and more trusting the coaches and what they’re calling.”
The Pioneers march forward without running back Alex Olarte, who injured his ankle in the second half of the Sept. 2 outing. Olarte had five carries for 49 yards before hobbling off the field.
Taggart said Olarte could return against Village Christian on Thurs., Sept. 15 but would definitely be back on the field no later than Sept. 24 against Canyon.
Simi Valley middle linebacker Garrett Rezinas and cornerbacks Dylan Fuentes and Jack Stafford played well against Rio Mesa, the coach said. Fuentes snagged an interception while Stafford deflected two passes and recorded a team-high four solo tackles.
Despite the lopsided loss, the Pioneers are not freaking out like Dennis Rodman at Burning Man.
“We’re definitely going in the right direction,” Hauptman said. “Every practice, we’ve been grinding.”
Moorpark quarterback Tyger Goslin said he expects the Musketeers to rebound positively from their setback.
“I would say it’s very beneficial, in a way. We saw a lot of things we need to fix,” Goslin said. “A lot of the hype will die down now, and now it’s more about us getting better every day. We need to do the little things right.”
After a nearly impeccable performance against Canyon on Aug. 26, Goslin completed 15-of-32 passes for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception against Pacifica, and he rushed 11 times for 65 yards and a score.
“This game is big for us—we need to show everybody that we’re still a team to be reckoned with,” Goslin said. We need to come out, play hard and ultimately we need the ‘W’ for sure.”
The Musketeers and Pioneers both think they had a good week of practice. They’ll find out more tonight.
“It’s another opportunity to go out there and compete and play football,” Taggart said. “You only get so many a year. We try to enjoy them.”
ROYAL, GRACE BRETHREN ON TAP
Royal’s football team (0-2 overall) still hasn’t scored a point while Grace Brethren (2-0) hasn’t allowed one this season.
The Highlands will try to get on track at 7 tonight against Burroughs (0-1) on the road. Royal lost 42-0 to Buena in Week 0 before falling 26-0 at Golden Valley last weekend.
The Lancers are ranked No. 2 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 poll after defeating Arleta (47-0) and Heritage Christian (39-0). Grace Brethren plays Sierra Canyon (2-0) at 7 tonight at Granada Hills.