SANTA MARIA — Someone get some ice for John Uribe’s arm, and make it quick.
The Santa Barbara High quarterback completed 35-of-50 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns on Friday night up in Santa Maria, but crucial turnovers erased the effort as Righetti (2-2) pulled out a 35-30 win.
The Dons are now 0-3, but they know they’re better than that.
“I’d love to sit here and tell you that we just got beat by a good Righetti team, a team that was better than us,” said coach Will Gonzales. “We don’t believe that. We met the enemy and it was us tonight, and once again we were plagued by turnovers. You can’t do that and win.”
Uribe threw an early pick, the Dons lost two fumbles and also allowed Righetti to pick up an onside kick in a 21-point second quarter that put the Warriors up 21-16 at the break.
Kyle Leonard had a breakout game offensively as the speedy senior running back caught 12 passes for 88 yards and ran for 36 more.
Uribe spread the ball around, however, mostly running things out of a shotgun formation. He hit star tight end/receiver Bryson Lloyd 11 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns and Roberto Nelson five times for 71 yards and a score. Andrew Mendoza caught the quarterback’s final touchdown heave with nine ticks left in the ballgame, and the Dons couldn’t convert a miracle onside kick to get one more shot.
“He did a great job and made some great decisions. When you throw the ball 50 times, there’s a lot of room for error. He’s going to become the all-time leading passer at our school and that is something to be proud of,” said Gonzales.
It wasn’t as if Righetti played a flawless game, giving up 128 yards on 11 penalties. But 205-pound bruiser Javon Davis pushed the ball upfield all night, gaining 157 yards on 28 carries with four touchdowns. Three of those came in the second quarter, and the other was a 55-yard scoring dagger with just under three minutes remaining.
The Dons started off with all the momentum. Chase Chandler hit a 22-yard field goal midway through the first quarter to make it 3-0. Spencer Kelly sacked Warrior quarterback TJ Jordan for a loss of 16 yards to halt Righetti’s ensuing drive, but Uribe threw the interception right after. He bounced back, however, finding Nelson in the corner of the end zone on a gimme in single coverage to put the Dons up 10-0 at the end of the first.
It went south right away, as Davis scored eight seconds in and the Dons fumbled the ensuing kickoff. It was 14-10 after two minutes of play in the second. The onside kick came right afterwards, and Davis would score two more unanswered before Lloyd caught a 15-yard strike from Uribe to ease the pain heading into the locker room.
Ralph Padilla made a huge play in deflecting a sure touchdown pass early in the third, and Freddy Maldonado picked off a Warrior pass midway through the quarter. The Dons took back the lead at the 4:13 mark with another Lloyd touchdown, this one 10 yards, to go up 24-21 after Maldonado caught a pass for the two-point conversion.
Righetti scored just before the end of the third and Santa Barbara fumbled a routine handoff in a crucial drive early in the fourth. Davis’ long scoring run sealed the deal.
Gonzales tried to put some perspective on the loss and the 0-3 start. After all, it’s a good time to learn your lessons.
“We have five exhibition games before we start league, and that’s how it goes. You move on,” he said.
The Dons move on to their Homecoming game against San Luis Obispo next week.
RIGHETTI 35, SANTA BARBARA 30
Santa Barbara…10 6 8 6 — 30
Righetti…………0 21 7 7 — 35
SB: 7:31 Chandler 22 kick
SB: 1:08 Nelson 3 pass from Uribe (Chandler kick)
R: 11:52 Davis 5 run (Miller kick)
R: 10:00 Davis 1 run (Miller kick)
R: 7:44 Davis 3 run (Miller kick)
SB: 4:49 Lloyd 15 pass from Uribe (PAT no good)
SB: Lloyd 10 pass from Uribe (Conversion good)
R: 0:56 Aros 25 pass from Jordan (Miller kick)
R: 2:55 Davis 55 run (Miller kick)
SB: Mendoza 15 pass from Uribe (Conversion no good)
First Downs: SB 21, R 14
Rushing yards: SB 73, R 209
Passing yards: SB 324, R 181
Total yards: SB 397, R 390
Fumbles-Lost — SB 3-2, R 3-1
INT: SB 1, R 1
Penalties: SB 7-35, R 11-128
Passing — SB: Uribe, 35-50, 324 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT; R: Jordan, 12-18, 181, TD, INT; R: Rubalcaba 0-1.
Receiving — SB: Bisquera 6-52, Leonard 12-88, Nelson 5-71, Lloyd 11-89, Mendoza 2-24; R: Sedin 1-15, Halop 4-54, Rucker 3-66, Rubalcaba 2-7, Aros 2-39.
Rushing — SB: Leonard 6-36, Uribe 11-39; R: Davis 28-157, Jordan 5-52.