Dons Come Through in the Clutch to Defeat Ventura 28-21

The Santa Barbara Defense Held Firm in the Final Seconds to Preserve the Victory

#6 Abel Renteria Muscles into the end zone | Credit: Victor Bryant

After a loss in its season opener, the Santa Barbara High football team increased its winning streak to four games with a 28-21 victory over Ventura on Friday night at Larrabee Stadium.

Sophomore quarterback Abel Renteria continued his maturation and came through in the clutch with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Lopez with 1:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Rentria followed that up with a slant to Trent Williams to convert a much-needed two-point conversion for the final margin.

“Honestly I ran the wrong play, but I just went 110 percent during it,” Lopez said. “Once I got the ball I saw that it was a clear lane so I turned up and ran as fast as I could to the end zone.”

The connection from Renteria to Lopez was the only points scored by either team in the second half after a wild shootout in the first half.

The Dons came out hot and scored on their opening drive of the game by virtue of a seven-yard run by Renteria. After recovering the ensuing pooch kick Santa Barbara increased its lead to 13-0 on a six-yard pass from Renteria to Miguel Unzueta with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter.

Ventura immediately responded with a five-play, 63-yard drive capped off by a 50-yard touchdown scamper by junior quarterback Jacob Jeffris.

At the start of the second quarter Santa barbara put together 14-play drive that Renteria capped off with a six-yard touchdown run extending the Santa Barbara lead to 20-7, but Ventura ripped off 14 consecutive points to closed the first half capped off by hail mary from Jeffris to Logan Bobis as the first half clock expired. 

The Cougars controlled the ball and outgained Santa Barbara in yardage by a large margin in the second half, but two red zone turnovers swung the game in the Dons’ favor.  The first was an interception by Danny Panossian that thwarted a 13-play Ventura drive and the second was a forced fumble by Vince Gamberdella that was recovered by Ben Gordnier early in the fourth quarter. 

After Santa Barbara claimed a 28-21 lead with just over a minute to play Ventura marched down to the Santa Barbara ten yard line with just over ten seconds remaining, but a sack by Julian Castro denied Ventura’s last gasp as time expired. 

Renteria completed 12-of-20 passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 20 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. The Dons had zero turnovers as a team.

Santa Ynez 34 Lompoc 30

The Pirates stunned the Braves with two late scores to complete the comeback and defeat Lompoc for the first time since 2009. 

Nordhoff 15 San Marcos 14

The Royals led 14-13 with under a minute remaining, but a late safety after a punt attempt was snapped out the back of the end zone put the visiting Rangers ahead for good.

Dos Pueblos 17 Royal 14

Gregory Tripathi drilled a game-winning field goal from 35 yards out in overtime to give Dos Pueblos its first win of the season. 


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