Thousand Oaks top Newbury Park in double overtime thriller
Thousand Oaks running back Chase Martin grabbed the flag, waving it side to side, crossing the field as white shirts flowed over the fence from the sideline.
What happened Friday night at Thousand Oaks High seemed impossible. With Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks missing the clock in the fourth quarter and just one overtime, some fans put their heads on their shoulders and hands on their hearts saying it was the craziest football game ever. they saw.
When Martin finally burst into the end zone, claiming a 41-38 victory, the students and their teammates assaulted the brave elder in a mixture of jubilation and relief. After years of mediocrity, two undefeated teams put on a spectacle that ushered in a new era of historic rivalry between Thousand Oaks – student sections and sons of coaches going head-to-head.
“It’s nice that you still have that hometown vibe, and now it’s maybe even a bit more now – it’s generational,” Martin’s father Lance said before the game.
Thirty years ago, Martin lined up for Thousand Oaks through the line of scrimmage of Newbury Park offensive lineman Joe Smigiel to play for a league championship in 1989. On Friday night, their boys – the quarterback- Newbury Park fullback Brady Smigiel and Thousand Oaks senior two-way Chase Martin – fought all night.
At first, the roller coaster felt like a snoozefest, with Thousand Oaks taking a 20-0 lead. Young Smigiel threw three picks in the first quarter — one of which junior Silas Kemp ran for a touchdown.
“That’s what I’ve been preaching to him for years – how do you react to being punched in the mouth?” Joe Smigiel said before the game.
Smigiel bounced back right away, orchestrating a rushing attack and adjusting to the pressure by finding fleeing receivers. Running back Nolan Story finished a few Panther drives with touchdowns, Smigiel sneaked over the goal line, and suddenly the Panthers were back to lead 21-20 in the third quarter.
Then chaos ensued.
Travis Endicott led a drive that ended with a strike against senior Will Halub and a two-point conversion. Then Smigiel sent a touchdown to Noah McArthur. Then Chase Martin ran in for a score. Then Smigiel threw a 52-yard bomb to even the score at 35-35.
The final drives of the fourth quarter by Endicott and Smigiel ended in interceptions as overtime approached. And as the fans rose to their feet, the well ran dry – a first overtime turned into another as neither team could score.
After Newbury Park scored a field goal, Endicott put the Lancers in position and Martin added the finishing touch with the touchdown run.
“It was a rollercoaster of emotions, of feelings, of confidence, of spirit,” said Thousand Oaks coach Evan Yabu.
When Joe Smigiel played 30 years ago, the winding Lynn Road was a boundary between west Newbury Park and east Thousand Oaks – crossing it meant heading into enemy territory, he said. -he declares.
Newbury Park has been mediocre for years. Thousand Oaks haven’t won a game in 2018 and 2019. Friday night, with two programs up, the atmosphere of a reignited rivalry would carry a little more weight, Lance Martin said.
And for now, with Martin bursting into the end zone, bragging rights lie east of Lynn Road.