West Ranch Football’s historic season ends with tough loss to Oxnard

Noah Neri, Staff Writer

After the first-ever playoff win in program history a week before, the West Ranch football team was looking to move on to the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinals with a home game against Oxnard. The team fought hard but lost a close game 34 to 31.

On their first drive, West Ranch had a three-and-out, giving Oxnard great field position to drive and get the first points of the game, going up 7 to 0. West Ranch quickly answered back on a 75-yard drive capped by a five yard touchdown run. A couple of minutes later, Xavier Harris of Oxnard found a big hole and had a long run to put Oxnard up 14-7. With a couple of minutes left, West Ranch was able to get a field goal to narrow the deficit to four at halftime, 14 to 10.

On the first drive of the second half, the Wildcats were able to get a pick. However, they were unable to put together a drive, and unfortunately got a punt blocked in the end zone leading to Oxnard taking a 21-10 lead. West Ranch’s lightning fast offense struck back quickly though, as brothers Jovan and Ryan Camacho each had a long receiving touchdown within a couple of minutes, giving the Cats their first lead of the game, 21-24. Oxnard put together another drive and retook the lead on another rushing touchdown by Xavier Hill, 27-24. Unfazed, the Cats marched back into Oxnard territory. In a heartbreaking turn of events though, Weston Eget threw a pass that was intercepted and returned for a pick-six, leaving the Wildcats down by ten with 6:48 in the game. Although they were able to get one more touchdown, the defense could not get a stop and Oxnard was able to run out the clock with several close first downs. The final score ended Oxnard 34-West Ranch 31.

After the game, seniors on the team were in tears as they realized that this was their last football game in a West Ranch jersey. “I just love them,” said Coach Varner. “We had a tremendous season, tremendous time, and I will forever miss them.”

Despite the loss, this season marked West Ranch’s best season ever at 9-3, as well as the team getting their first ever playoff win. Thank you West Ranch football for a magical season!