Whittier Christian's Sergio Ramirez tries to get a bit more distance with Alex Esquivel of Nordhoff hanging on during Friday's game.

Whittier Christian's season comes to sudden halt


OJAI – Whittier Christian's hopes of advancing into the semifinals of the Northwest Division playoffs was stopped short Friday night as it could not contain the dynamic Nordhoff rushing attack.

Rangers running backs Tayler Livingston and Shane Hersh combined for 306 yards and four touchdowns as Nordhoff dropped the Heralds, 58-21, at Nordhoff High.

Whittier Christian (8-4), despite amassing over 450 yards in offense, found itself unable to play a clean game in the turnover and penalty department.

The Heralds fumbled the ball twice and committed 12 penalties totaling 86 yards, many of them helping Nordhoff get into great field position.

"(Nordhoff) turned our turnovers into points," Whittier Christian coach Sergio Gradilla said. "At the end of the half, they were able to get a long run, and a penalty which gave them a field goal, so instead of trailing by eight we trailed by 11 (at the break)."

On its first possession of the game, a Heralds fumble was picked up and run 44 yards for a touchdown by Kevin Crane.

Livingston then punched in a 2-yard TD run at the 2:33 mark of the first quarter, capping a 55-yard Rangers drive that put Whittier Christian in an early 14-0 hole.

The Heralds got on the board early in the second with a 6-yard run from David Fischer at the 10:29 mark.

Livingston and the Rangers (11-1) wasted no time answering Fischer's score with one of their own.

A 48-yard run from Livingston set up a 2-yard TD run from Hersh with 8:19 remaining in the half. Nordhoff held a 24-13 advantage at the break.

Nordhoff scored twice in the third quarter, one each from Livingston and Hersh, giving the Rangers a 37-13 lead.

Nordhoff then opened the fourth quarter with an 83-yard TD pass from Tanner Workman to Jake Boyd, all but ending any thought of a Heralds comeback.

Whittier Christian's Ryan Esslinger connected on 31 of 41 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball 15 times for 83 yards.

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