Quarterback Michael Spiritosanto and running back Josh Bartley were runnin’ wild on Friday night against visiting Santa Barbara, combining for all four Charger touchdowns in a 27-7 crosstown victory.
“I wanna get to the point where we just snap it to one or the other and let them do their thing,” said coach Jeff Uyesaka. “Mike ran with a mission, and Josh is a smooth runner… Yeah, it is fun to have those guys back there.”
The duo rushed for a combined 237 yards on the night and also connected on an 18-yard juggling touchdown catch by Bartley that began the scoring in the first quarter. But what looked like it could have been a runaway victory stayed close as the youthful Dons, who have been depleted by injuries, kept at it.
“We lost some big seniors, but these guys still came up and stepped it up and wanted to play some football, and I really enjoyed this game,” said Dons coach Jaime Melgoza.
The Chargers (5-3, 2-0 Channel League) had a 14-0 lead halfway through the first quarter after a 15-yard scoring run from Bartley, but the Dons (2-7, 1-2 Channel League) didn’t quit. Despite an interception and two three-and-outs to end their opening three drives, an all-sophomore connection came through as Caleb Hale found Emilio Gonzalez on a 21-yard halfback pass to cut the lead to 14-7 in the final minute of the quarter.
The trick play was the longest gain of the night for the Dons, however, as the burly Dos Pueblos defensive line got into the backfield and had Santa Barbara quarterback Shawn Ramos facing consistent pressure. The Chargers nabbed a total of three interceptions in the game, including two from senior defensive back John Dickinson. They also recovered a fourth-quarter fumble by the Dons.
“I think some of the hits [the defense] had were good. They were getting after it and played some fundamental defense,” said Uyesaka. “Santa Barbara chipped away here and there and it got scary at times. They did a great double pass on us, , but outside of that our defense played strong and played up to par I think.”
Ramos was 11-for-25 passing for 109 yards, and Melgoza was happy with the fire he saw in his quarterback despite the three interceptions.
“These guys love the game, and they’re getting a passion for the game,” he said.
Spiritosanto scored all the points in the second half, blasting it in from one yard out at the 9:51 mark in the third quarter and rumbling for a 26-yard score with 9:06 left in the game.
The Chargers play at San Marcos next week for the City Championship, while the Dons will be at Buena.
DOS PUEBLOS 27, SANTA BARBARA 7
Santa Barbara…7 0 0 0 — 0
Dos Pueblos…14 0 6 7 — 27
DP — Bartley 18 pass from Spiritosanto (Bornand kick), 9:08
DP — Bartley 15 run (Bornand kick), 6:33
SB — EGonzalez 21 pass from Hale (Medina kick), 0:30.
DP — Spiritosanto 1 run (kick failed), 9:51
DP — Spiritosanto 26 run (Bornand kick), 9:06.
First Downs… 8 13
Rushes-Yards… 26-53 36-263
Passing yards… 130 23
Total yards… 156 286
Passes (att-comp-int)…11-26-3 4-10-0
RUSHING—SB: Ramos 12-21, Hale 14-32. DP: Spiritosanto 15-134, Bartley 16-103, Thomas 3-13, Richardson 1-13, Powell 1-0.
RECEIVING—SB: Gellison 3-34, EGonzalez 2-39, MGonzalez 4-34, Stevens 2-14, . DP: Alden 3-37, Bartley 1-17.