A stingy defense and efficient offense boosted the San Marcos High football team to a 28-9 non-league victory over Santa Maria on Friday night at Warkentin Stadium.
The Royals are unbeaten at 2-0 going into their Channel League opener against Rio Mesa next week.
“I was pleased overall. I thought the offense did a nice job,” said San Marcos coach Ralph Molina. “We didn’t turn the ball over. We protected the ball nicely. There are still some things we’ve got to work on, but overall I was really pleased. We’re getting better. I’m telling you.”
San Marcos running back Andre McCullough grinded out 116 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Josh Engel tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another as he orchestrated a balanced attack.
Patrick Kelly was a standout on both sides of the ball for San Marcos as he hauled in seven catches for 86 yards and came down with a game-changing interception in the end zone that thwarted a potential Santa Maria scoring drive late in the third quarter.
“It’s a little bit like Deebo (Samuel). I’m a big 49ers fan,” Kelly said. “I’m happy to be doing everything. I will do anything I’m asked to do for the team.”
The Royals opened the game with a 13-play, 53-yard drive that was capped off by a three-yard touchdown pass from Engel to Owen Lauderdale with 4:51 remaining in the second quarter.
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San Marcos extended the lead to 14-0 at the 8:57 mark of the second quarter when McCullough got the edge and cruised into the end zone from ten yards out.
Josh Engel capped off San Marcos’ first drive of the second half with a one-yard touchdown plunge that put the Royals ahead 21-3 with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Engel’s best pass of the game came on an eleven-yard slant to Arturo Luna that put San Marcos ahead 28-3 with 7:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Santa Maria’s lone touchdown of the game came on a 12-yard pass from Josue Elena to Felipe Ramirez-Suares with 1:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
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