VENTURA -- It has been nearly a month since Oxnard linebacker Adrian Padilla stepped on a football field.
He suffered a concussion in a game against San Luis Obispo in the second week of the season. Padilla needed brain surgery to reduce the swelling in his head and spent nearly three weeks in a hospital recovering.
He was released Monday and was an honorary captain for the Oxnard football team Friday night in his team’s game against Ventura.
Ventura won the game, 42-7, to keep its undefeated record in tact.
The Oxnard players, coaches and fans, meanwhile, reveled in Padilla’s return. The Oxnard players have patches on their helmets with the initials A.P. and the No. 25, the number Padilla wears. Half the money raised from the 50-50 raffle at the game on Friday night was donated to the Padilla family to help pay for medical bills.
Once the game started, however, Ventura (6-0) took control and rolled to its sixth win in a row.
Ventura quarterback Rodney Stanley threw for 217 yards and four touchdowns. Leo Camacho was his favorite receiver, hauling in four passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
Hunter Winans made a juggling catch in the third quarter and turned it into a 68-yard touchdown.
Nick Januska returned an interception 88 yards in the fourth quarter to give Ventura a 35-7 lead.
Running back Conner Armstrong capped the night for Ventura with a 21-yard touchdown run with 2:40 to play.
Ventura coach Brad Steward called his quarterback’s performance “workmanlike.”
“He did a nice job of taking what they gave us,” Steward said. “They didn’t have an answer for our pass game.”
Stanley completed 15-of-24 passes and seven in a row at one point. He had touchdown throws of 26, 31, 19 and 68 yards. His second two touchdown passes went to Camacho to give Ventura a 21-7 lead at halftime.
“He’s our go-to guy more and more,” Steward said about Camacho. “The more we get the ball in his hands, the better we are as a team.”
Ventura went up early, 14-0, on a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter. Oxnard scored its only touchdown in the second quarter on a one-yard run by quarterback Oscar Sandoval.
Oxnard was able to move the ball on the ground against Ventura. Running back Grant Weiss had 52 yards in eight carries in the first half, but he injured his ankle and did not return after halftime.
“He’s one of our senior leaders,” Oxnard coach Mark Beckham said. “It makes it tough when he’s not in there.”
Oxnard (2-3) had its chances to get back in the game. The Yellowjackets drove down the field on the opening drive of the second half and had a second-and-goal from the 6-yard line.
But Sandoval threw an interception in the end zone to Rolf Reeves and Oxnard came away with no points.
Down 28-7 in the fourth quarter, Oxnard was driving inside Ventura territory again, but Sandoval threw another interception.
This time it went to Januska who returned it 88 yards for a touchdown to give Ventura a 28-point lead with 10:33 to play in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t play well in the first half,” Beckham said. “We were tougher in the second half.”