2-way star Martin leads Thousand Oaks to comeback win over Westlake
Even when he was down, Chase Martin had no intention of going out.
Not that night, not against a legendary rival.
The two-way Thousand Oaks High star delivered a virtuoso performance on Friday night, racking up wild shots from his linebacker slot while racking up 167 rushing yards and scoring two touchdowns in the Lancers’ 32-22 win over arch-rival Conejo Valley, Westlake.
Martin took off, more literally, when it appeared he might be taken down by an injury.
In the third quarter, with Westlake positioned on the Thousand Oaks 1-yard line while holding a 15-12 lead, Martin closed the gap and sacked quarterback Dominic Hunt for a 10-yard loss.
The elder also fell in a heap, writhing in pain as trainers rushed to help him. Soon, Martin regained his footing and hobbled off the field.
Westlake scored on the next play, Hunt finding Cole Janowicz for an 11-yard touchdown pass and a 22-12 lead.
After:2022 Season Week 2 High School Football Results
Martin returned to the Lancers’ offense the following series. The decision was unequivocal.
“It’s a hot night,” he said afterwards. “I had cramps and it was painful. But I was going back as soon as possible. My teammates were playing hard. I was going to do everything I could to help us win.”
Martin scored Thousand Oaks’ first touchdown on a 29-yard reception from Travis Endicott in the first quarter and scored the final score on an 11-yard run in two minutes that sealed the verdict.
Rallying from 8-6 halftime and 22-12 third quarter deficits, Martin and the Lancers (2-0) were happy to celebrate on their home turf by posting their second straight win over a long-time district rival.
“It’s a big win,” Martin said. “It’s our second in a row against Westlake (10-7 a season ago) and it gives us a big boost after our bye week. It really gives us confidence for the future. It shows us what what we can do.”
Endicott played his own hero role after a slow start in which he was limited to 40 passing yards in the first half. The senior quarterback and transfer from Newbury Park High was playing Westlake as a college player for the first time.
He was clearly thrilled at the end of the match.
“Honestly, it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had,” Endicott said. “Being part of this team and helping win such an important game is so good. We were down, but we kept fighting. We’re not a team that never gives up.”
Endicott didn’t start warming up until the third quarter. Martin rushed for 57 yards as the Lancers pushed to Westlake’s 7-yard line trailing 16-6. Endicott’s 7-yard pass to Andrew Simon-Lacombe reduced the disadvantage to 15-12 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
Always the leader, Endicott took responsibility for the first fights of the attack.
“It’s all up to me,” he said. “I wasn’t doing the reads very well and it put too much pressure on the offensive line. As a quarterback, as a leader, I knew I had to take it upon myself to get us going.”
And, oh yes, complete Martin’s soulful play at running back.
“He’s awesome,” Endicott said. “Really, the best player I’ve ever played with. Him and Delon Thompson. It was just amazing to watch him tonight.”
Thousand Oaks’ 20-0 blitz in the third quarter included Endicott’s 6-yard pass to Blake Lauritzen and his own 1-yard sweep that gave the Lancers a definite 25-22 lead with 8:10 remaining.
Endicott finished 13 of 24 for 162 yards.
The Lancers needed production from their stars, with Westlake garnering the best production from multiple sources.
Jordan Garrison put up two clutch plays, including his 41-yard punt return in twisting, spinning and spinning for a touchdown with 8:37 left in the second quarter that gave the Warriors a lead. from 8-6.
His 49-yard reception from Hunt at the top of the second half set up a 60-yard drive and Isaiah Sepand’s 3-yard run to make the lead 15-6.
Hunt went 11 of 21 for 183 yards. Sepand ran for 105 yards on 10 carries.
Thousand Oaks travel to Hueneme next Friday in a non-league contest. Canyon League play begins Sept. 16 at Oak Park.
Westlake (1-2) host Birmingham next Friday in non-league action. The Marmonte League competition begins on September 30 at home against Simi Valley.
Loren Ledin is the editor of The Star. He can be reached at [email protected] or 805-437-0285.