Dos Pueblos quarterback Albert Alvarado (#10). (August 23, 2019) | Credit: Paul Wellman

Offense didn’t comes easy for the Dos Pueblos High football team in a 19-0 season opening loss to visiting Rio Mesa on Friday night.

Not only were the Chargers shoutout, but they failed to record a first down in the second half, squandering a valiant effort by the defense, which managed to keep the game close, despite enduring long stretches on the field.

“We just missed a lot of execution and a lot of assingments. It’s one of those things where whatever offense you run you have to execute,” said Dos Pueblos High coach Doug Caines. “Defensively I thought we held and didn’t break, but we bent a little too far.”

After a quick Dos Pueblos three-and-out to open the game. Rio Mesa marched down the field on its opening drive. The Spartans covered 52 yards in 12 plays down to the four-yard line before quarterback Samuel Marquez lofted a pass into the corner of the end zone on fourth down that was intercepted by Baylor Huyck.

On the ensuing Dos Pueblos possession, quarterback Albert Alvarado connected with Huyck on a 40-yard pass down to the to Rio Mesa 34-yard line. However, the drive sputtered and resulted in a missed 39-yard field goal.

The Spartans responded with a 15-play, 80-yard drive and this time converted a fourth-and-two from the 10-yard line as Marquez connected with Joseph Hernandez on a pass down the middle, off a play-action fake, with 4:21 remaining in the second quarter.

“DP is a big, tough, physical team and we really challenged are guys to step up,” said Rio Mesa coach Jim Bittner. “I think they met the challenge.”

An interception by Dos Pueblos linebacker Daniel Santacruz set up the Chargers with excellent field position in the final minute of the first half.  Dos Pueblos reached the 17-yard line after an 8-yard pass from Alvarado to Huyck when an injury to offensive linemen  Isaac Nungaray forced a stoppage in play.

On the very next play, Alvarado’s pass near the goal line was intercepted by C.J. Lewis, who weaved across the field or an impressive return before fumbling as the second quarter clock expired.

The Chargers did not produce another first down for the remainder of the game as the injury to Nungaray forced them to shuffle their offensive line, which completely fell apart.

Rio Mesa broke the game open on its first drive of the second half with a 64-yard touchdown run by Ethan Feciuch that increased their lead to 13-0 after a missed extra point.

Lewis closed the scoring for Rio Mesa with a one-yard touchdown run at the 5:30 mark of the third quarter.

Huyck was a bright spot for Dos Pueblos offensively as he finished with five catches for 76 yards all in the first half.

The Chargers will travel to Pacifica of Oxnard next week. Rio Mea will travel to Royal of Simi valley.

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The Royals won their season opener for the first time since 2013.

Santa Barbara 51 Buena 14

Deacon Hill tossed four touchdown passes as the Dons opened with a win at Buena for second consecutive season.

Nipomo 23 Santa Ynez 21

Santa Ynez failed to convert a two-point conversion that would have tied the game in the final moments.

Lompoc 24 Simi Valley 7

Braves claim matchup of two teams ranked in their respective divisions


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