An inspired defensive performance by the Santa Ynez High football team smothered the vaunted Santa Barbara offensive attack and left the Dons searching for answers as the Pirates captured a 28-10 victory on Friday night.
Football is a game of emotion and Santa Ynez played with an edge that showed up in key moments of the pivotal Channel League contest. The Pirates lacked the skill on the perimeter to match up with Santa Barbara, but made up for it with desire, intensity and a disciplined approach.
“We play inspired, we play for each other and I think our guys on the defensive side of the ball have really bought into ‘do your job.’ It doesn’t matter who gets the tackle. It doesn’t matter who gets the sack,’” said Santa Ynez coach Josh McClurg. “If we all do our job and it’s all eleven people doing it we’re going to be successful and we’re going to make them have to really beat us with something that they don’t want to beat us with.”
The Dons outgained Santa Ynez in total yardage 266 to 185, but struggled with penalties and dropped passes that doomed promising drives. Santa Barbara quarterback Frankie Gamberdella completed 19-of-40 passes for just 164 yards as Santa Ynez succeeded in keeping everything in front of them.
“Santa Barbara wants to make big plays. That’s their momentum, when they make a big play they feed off it,” McClurg said. “(Gamberdella) is the best quarterback I’ve seen around here in six years. He’s a stud. If he gets loose that team gets fired up so we just wanted them to beat us with five and six and seven yard passes.”
Santa Ynez benefited from a roughing the kicker penalty and a personal foul late hit on third down to extend its second drive of the game and Cash Transeth paid it off with a three-yard touchdown run with 3:02 remaining in the first quarter, giving the Pirates a 7-0 lead.
Santa Barbara responded with a six-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 35-yard touchdown run by Gamberdella to even the score at 7-7. However, on the ensuing kickoff Jasper Kadlec responded with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that put the Pirates back in front 14-7.
“I think it was a big turning point coming back from their score,” Kadlec said. “I think it just kind of helped us to get something going for the rest of the game.
The Dons tacked on a field goal 20-yard field goal by Ty Montgomery just before halftime, cutting their deficit to 14-10.
“The problem was that we had two key (passes) that were dropped that could have been touchdowns for us,” said Santa Barbara coach J.T. Stone. “When you have a very good Santa Ynez football team that’s playing great defense you have to take advantage of opportunities and we did not do that.”
In the second half the Santa Ynez defense continued to bed, but would not break and early in the fourth quarter a short Santa Barbara punt set up Santa Ynez with a first-and-10 at the opposing 42-yard line.
Transeth converted a 3rd-and-9 from the 29-yard line with a 16-yard run and followed that up with a 13-yard touchdown run on the next play, giving Santa Ynez a 21-10 lead with 9:37 remaining in the fourth quarter.
From that point forward the Santa Ynez pass rush started to get home led by junior defensive end Tyler Germani who finished with three sacks. Kadlec inserted the dagger at the 3:09 mark with a 19-yard touchdown run off a jet sweep.
“(Santa Ynez) works hard and they don’t do a whole lot but they’re very good at what they do,” Stone said. “The bottom line is we just didn’t show up tonight. We did not play well. I don’t have anything positive to say. We just did not play good football tonight and it was embarrassing.”
Santa Barbara will host Lompoc in its next game and Santa Ynez will travel to Cabrillo.
Camarillo 49 Bishop Diego 14
Jake Engel connected with Isaiah Morones on two touchdown passes, but that’s all The Cardinals could muster offensively. Camarillo completed a Hail Mary to go up 21-7 at halftime and never looked back.
San Marcos 26 Cabrillo 25
The Conquistadores missed an extra point late in the fourth quarter that preserved a one point San Marcos lead, giving the Royals their first Channel League victory since 2014.
Lompoc 42 Dos Pueblos 21
Lompoc scored the final 21 points of the game to pull away from the Chargers and improve to 2-0 in Channel League play.
Malibu 14 Carpinteria 10
The Warriors led 7-0 at halftime, but were outscored 14-3 in the second half and have now dropped three consecutive Citrus Coast League games.