It’s been a season of growing pains thus far for the Bishop Diego High football team and the youthful inexperience was still evident in victory on Friday night.
After building up a 34-7 halftime lead the Cardinals survived a second half Nipomo rally to capture a 41-28 victory in a non-league contest at La Playa Stadium.
“I think we did get a glimpse of the way we can play, but I also think we’ve got to learn from the second half in particular and be more in control when the game is in control,” said Bishop Diego coach Tom Crawford. “There’s lessons to be learned and it doesn’t matter if you win or lose a half there’s lessons to be learned in that.”
The Bishop Diego (2-2) offense found its stride in the first half behind the power running of Adrian Soracco and the explosive passing combination of Jake Engel and Isaiah Morones.
Soracco finished with 94 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns on offense and contributed a pick six on defense. Jake Engel completed 9-of-15 passes for 246 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Morones hauled in six of those passes for 157 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown catch that gave Bishop Diego a 27-7 lead with 5:18 remaining in the second quarter.
“This game we really were fired up from the loss last game and we did our job,” Soracco said. “Our lineman did a great job and I just did my thing. I hit the hole as hard as I could and found space.”
Nipomo (3-1) coach Tony Dodge fired his team up in the locker room at halftime and the visiting Titans mounted a 21-0 run in the third quarter to close their deficit.
“We actually made it a game for a little bit so I was pleased with our boys’ fight,” Dodge said of this team’s second half comeback.
Ricky Iniguez and Carmelo Hernandez contributed short touchdown runs and quarterback Brayden Groshart connected with Hernandez on a four-yard touchdown pass after a Nipomo blocked punt, cutting the Titans’ defict to 41-28.
The Bishop Diego defense held on its next possession midway through the fourth quarter and Soracco restored order with a 38-yard run that flipped field position on the Cardinals’ final drive of the game.
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The dynamic duo of quarterback Vance Keiser and wide receiver Brady Sturdivan exploded offensively as the Warriors backed up their No. 3 ranking in Division 12.