Friday, October 17, 2008

Dons get win on Charger's turf


The Dos Pueblos Chargers stifled big plays from eager Santa Barbara receivers, and held the Dons to well under its average of 33.4 points per game.
But a stingy defensive effort by the Chargers wasn’t enough to prevent the Dons from notching a 29-17 victory to open Channel League play at Valley Stadium last night.

While the game ended up falling in Santa Barbara’s favor, the outcome was undecided with six minutes remaining after Dos Pueblos quarterback Zack Boytis connected with wide receiver Branden Tangle for an 8-yard touchdown pass that brought the Chargers to within five at 22-17.
Dos Pueblos launched a soft onside kick that Santa Barbara recovered at midfield, and the Dons rattled off a 10-play drive that was capped by a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback John Uribe to receiver Roberto Nelson to seal the win with a minute remaining.
“Anything goes in the big games,” said Santa Barbara Head Coach Will Gonzales. “You just have to role with the punches and just sustain.”
And if there’s one thing the Dons did, other than win, was take their share of punches.
The first of Uribe’s two interceptions on the night came in the first quarter after a pass hit Dons receiver Robert Bisquera on the numbers in the end zone, and bounced into the hands of Tangle, who sprinted 51-yards the other way.
The Chargers scored their first touchdown of the game on the next play off a 49-yard touchdown pass from Boytis to Dane Limosnero.
With eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Dons racked up 40 yards in penalties during one drive and had two big plays called back, one of which was a touchdown.
But that didn’t seem to bother Santa Barbara. Every time they were down, the strong arm of Uribe picked them up again.
After a 63-yard touchdown pass to Nelson was called back, Uribe went to him on the next play for a 31-yard first down.
On the next play, Uribe fumbled the snap, scrambled to the sideline, and sent a rocket 23-yards to tight end Bryson Lloyd, who returned to the field after making an early exit against San Luis Obispo two weeks ago with a high ankle sprain.
Uribe capped the drive with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Nelson, who had two touchdowns on the night.
Uribe, who set the county passing record with 581 yards two weeks ago against San Luis Obispo, had another stellar night. He was 32-of-52 with 381 yards and three touchdown passes.
Not bad for a guy who said he felt it was his worst performance of the season.
“Tonight wasn’t the best night for me,” he said, adding that all the credit should be given to the Dons’ defense. “We had our ups and downs and we prevailed on defense.”
Both teams struggled with their kicking games. Santa Barbara kicker Chase Chandler missed two point-after attempts and a 27-yard field goal, while Dos Pueblos kicker Brennan Eccles missed a two field goals in the first half from 44 and 28 yards out.
While Santa Barbara had its share of missteps, the Chargers had just as many, and usually when the momentum appeared to be swinging the home team’s way.
Trailing 16-7 at the half, the Chargers opened it up from their own 34-yard line. After a 6-yard run by Micheel Cory, Boytis handed the ball off to Limosnero, who tore through a hole and broke free down the right sideline. Limosnero racked up 21 yards before being caught by a Santa Barbara defender, but he choked up the ball and the Dons recovered at their own 39-yard line.
After a series of punts, the Chargers got within field goal range and brought in Tangle, who nailed a 32-yarder to bring Dos Pueblos within 12 at 22-10.
After Santa Barbara missed a field goal on their next possession, the Chargers looked poised to attack.
But on the first play, Boytis tossed an errant pass that was caught by Santa Barbara’s Ralph Padilla.
A few plays later, Uribe threw his second interception of the night, which Dos Pueblos’ Hayden Dow capitalized on with a 30-yard return to set the Chargers up for their final score of the evening, a 7-yard touchdown run by Boytis.
The number of momentum changes was difficult to tally, but even in the final minute, Dos Pueblos’ luck took a turn for the worse.
After Santa Barbara put the final points of the game on the board, the Dons’ kicker launched low-flying ball that smacked a Dos Pueblos player in the chest. The ball bounced back and the Dons recovered.
Gonzales said it’s turns like these that make a rivalry game a rivalry game.
“On a night like this anything can go,” he said. “Your team just has to hold on and hold on and tonight we did.”
Dos Pueblos Head Coach Jeff Uyesaka said he was proud of his team’s defensive effort and was pleased his squad was able to restrict Santa Barbara’s talented receiver corps from doing more damage.
“It was a good high school rivalry game,” he said.
With the win, the Dons improve to 2-4 and will face Buena next week. The Chargers, also 2-4, play San Marcos.

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