Dominant defense and a strong finishing kick boosted the Dos Pueblos High football team to a 17-7 victory over rival San Marcos on Friday night at Warkentin Stadium.
San Marcos came out firing on its first drive of the game and quickly scored a touchdown on a play-action fade from Josh Engel to Jackson Murrillo with 10:15 remaining in the first quarter. From that point on Dos Pueblos controlled the action as the Chargers scored the final 17 points of the game.
“It feels like we’re starting to gel and we’re starting to come together,” said Dos Pueblos coach A.J. Pateras. “For the last two weeks we’ve had kids out so what we think of as our first group has been a variety of different kids and I think that says about the team.”
An interception by Immanuel Trujillo set up Dos Pueblos’ first touchdown of the game as Jordan Rico connected with Dylon Bailey on a 49-yard touchdown pass two plays later to tie the game at 7-7 with 3:22 remaining in the first quarter.
Dos Pueblos fumbled the ball three times in the first half, but San Marcos was unable to capitalize. The Royals received excellent production from running back Andre McCullough, who eclipsed 100 yards rushing in the first half alone and finished with 137 yards on 26 carries, but San Marcos struggled with drive-killing penalties.
“We were grinding pretty good and then we’d shoot ourselves in the foot. For every good play we had we’d take two steps back with the dumb penalties,” said San Marcos coach Ralph Molina. “Poor Andre ran his tail off. He ran so hard and was the best player on the field.”
Gregory Tripathi connected on a 38-yard field goal with three seconds remaining in the first half to give Dos Pueblos its first lead of the game 10-7.
The second half was a defensive slugfest, but Running back David Buso and the Dos Pueblos offensive line took over late in the fourth quarter. Buso closed out an 11-play, 63-yard drive by the Chargers with three runs for 26 yards and plowed into the end zone from two yards out increasing the Dos Pueblos lead to 17-7 with 2:17 to play.
“The line was just talking about smashing them. We were beating them down. They were tired and we were in the red zone. We just had to play mean football.” Buso said. “I love those moments. Those are the moments you have to be there for.”
Buso also contributed to the Chargers’ stellar defensive effort from his linebacker position and was named the Jeff Hesselmeyer “Battle for the Goodland” MVP.
Mission Prep 51 Carpinteria 0
The Warriors remain winless at 0-4 on the season and Mission Prep remains unbeaten at 4-0.
Valley Christian 64 Laguna Blanca 24
The host Owls couldn’t keep up with unbeaten Valley Christian Academy of Santa Maria and dropped to 2-1 on the season.