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Banning Hands Venice First Defeat, 21-19:

The Venice High football team, which has high hopes of winning the Los Angeles City Section football championship for the first time, is not going to have an undefeated season.

         After winning its first four games, Venice lost at home Friday, October 5 to Banning, 21-19.        

         Last season Venice defeated Banning twice, including a convincing win in the City playoffs.

         This season, Venice had beaten two strong teams from the CIF, Santa Monica and Oaks Christian, before losing to Banning, a fellow member of the City Section.

         Venice trailed, 21-13, when quarterback Richard Ragland connected on a 70-yard touchdown pass to Sean Gregory in the fourth quarter, but Venice’s attempt at a two-point conversion failed.

         Curtis McNeal, who had scored nine touchdowns for Venice in the last two games, was held far below his average with only 70 yards on 10 carries.

         Banning produced a strong running attack, compiling 210 yards.         This Friday night, October 12, Venice will begin Western League play at home, opposing longtime rival Westchester High at 7 p.m.

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