The quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 6 playoffs became the end of the road for the Santa Barbara High football team.
Visiting Newport Harbor scored 35 unanswered points on its way to a 49-14 victory on Friday night at Peabody Stadium.
“We were right there in the game; we just couldn’t stop them,” said Santa Barbara coach J.T. Stone. “Their offense was great. We were 14-14 in that game, but when we threw that interception, at that point, we went downhill.”
A series of unfortunate events for Santa Barbara near the end of the first half proved decisive in determining the final outcome. Newport Harbor marched down field and finished off a 12-play, 58-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge by Henry Slater put the Sailors ahead 21-14 with 2:43 remaining in the second quarter.
On the first play of the ensuing Santa Barbara possession, Josiah Lamarque scored his third touchdown of the game with an interception that he returned 30 yards to the end zone with 2:28 remaining in the second quarter.
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After Santa Barbara was forced to punt with just over a minute remaining in the first half, Newport Harbor inserted the proverbial dagger with a 15-yard touchdown pass from A.J. Guitron-Moore to Lamarque, who notched his fourth touchdown of the first half, extending the Sailors’ lead to 35-14.
“We saw some things that gave us some opportunities in the pass game early,” said Newport Harbor coach Peter Lofthouse. “Josiah Lamarque had a heck of a first half.”
Guitron-Moore was on fire from the start and completed 19 of 20 passes for 238 yards and five touchdowns in the game.
The Dons received a great game from sophomore Koa Herrera, who rushed for 71 yards on eight carries and caught a 36-yard touchdown pass in the first half.
Trent Williams accounted for the other Santa Barbara touchdown on a three-yard fade pass from Abel Renteria.
Santa Barbara concludes the season with an 8-4 overall record.