Camarillo football tops Newbury Park

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CAMARILLO — Experienced Newbury Park players held their ground when freshman quarterback Brady Smiegel couldn’t on Friday night. One week after securing a playoff berth, the Panthers fell to Camarillo, 26-14. Senior Casey Knieriem hauled in both of Newbury Park’s touchdowns on a night when the offense just didn’t hit like it usually does.

“We try to take him under our wing and keep him going,” Knieriem said. “We love him to death and he’s got to learn somehow. We try our best in practice every day, going hard.”

Newbury Park’s offense struggled to find its footing in a scoreless first quarter. Camarillo scored on the first play of the second quarter on a 44-yard run by Nathaniel Madrigal, while the Panthers (8-2 overall, 4-2 Canyon League) were able to break through later in the quarter.

Newbury Park strung together three plays for a touchdown midway through the second quarter, with Smigiel connecting with Casey Knieriem on the latter two. The pair teamed up for a 38-yard touchdown for much-needed momentum.

Camarillo (8-2, 5-1) fumbled on the ensuing drive, but the Panthers were unable to capitalize on the possession. Jacob Mantei sacked Smiegie! twice before the first half expired with the score 7-7.

Madrigal scored on an 8-yard run with a minute remaining in the third quarter to keep Camarillo’s offense chugging along, and the defense followed up with an interception by Jackson Wal