Officially, Dos Pueblos High beat Goleta rival San Marcos 34-7 Friday night. Unofficially, it was 3-2.
Junior running back Josh Bartley ran for 271 yards and three touchdowns but the Charger defense wasn’t far behind, scoring twice as Dos Pueblos completed a sweep of its Santa Barbara city rivals, secured a CIF playoff spot and, most importantly, put itself in position to win a long-elusive Channel League championship. The Chargers, 6-3 overall and 3-0 in league, will play Ventura Thursday for the title.
“We know the history,” said linebacker Aaron Thomas, who scored one of the defensive touchdowns and forced the fumble that created the other. “It’s been 31 years since the school won the league title.”
That period includes some very good teams, including one that reached the CIF championship final, but it was not something that Dos Pueblos spent a lot of time thinking about this week with Goleta rival San Marcos providing a second-straight rivalry game.
“We knew they would come out and play us tough,” said Thomas. “We went through the same thing with Santa Barbara last week.”
The Royals (1-8, 0-3) did, indeed, come to play and hit the Chargers with a stunning 1-2 aerial punch to take a 7-0 lead with 3:33 to play in the first quarter. Andrew Thayer snared a 33-yard pass from quarterback Joe Rivera with a leaping, one-handed grab and Daniel Carreno followed with a 31-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline for a touchdown. Andrew Thayer added the PAT kick.
San Marcos tried to press its advantage with an on-sides kick but the ball squirted 20 yards downfield and Christian Silva scooped it up and ran it back 45 yards to set the Chargers up for a game-tying touchdown. Bartley ran five yards for the score and Nicolai Bornand added the first of four PATs with 2:23 left in the quarter.
From that point, Dos Pueblos pretty much dominated the game, aided by a couple of San Marcos miscues that led to touchdowns. Bartley added a 36-yard scoring run late in the second quarter and a 14-yard run early in the fourth. He also had a 60-yard scoring run called back for a penalty and finished a single yard short of Steve Ryker’s 272 school record total against Camarillo in 1979.
“Josh is really seeing the field well,” said DP coach Jeff Uyesaka.
Bartley, a 5-foot-7 junior, was playing the role of feature back for the first time, carrying the ball 25 times as Charger quarterback Michael Spiritosanto sat the game out with an injury. Spiritosanto, who normally shares the carries with Bartley, will be back next week, said Uyesaka.
Uyesaka added that Ben Adams, who completed 4-of-6 passes for 72 yards and smoothly handled several pitches and hand-offs to Bartley, will also see time in the backfield, as he has done all year.
“Adams stepped up nicely,” he said. “We had to have a couple of guys step up this week due to injuries. Thomas was out most of the week with a nasty turf toe. He was definitely playing in some pain tonight.”
Thomas was dealing the hurt to San Marcos Friday night. He combined with Brandon Johnson to score the Chargers other first half touchdown, smacking into Rivera in the end zone to force a fumble that Johnson pounced on. The final Dos Pueblos score came on an unusual interception return by Thomas. The play began with a bad snap in shotgun formation that Rivera and fullback Mo Cruz both tried to corral but were only able to bat in the air. Thomas shot through the line, collected the ball in stride and raced 35 yards for the score.
“Our effort was pretty good tonight,” said San Marcos coach Jeff Hesselmeyer. “We played hard, but Dos Pueblos is a good team and we can’t make the mistakes we did against a team that good.”
Dos Pueblos also had its share of mistakes, however. Bartley, despite his flashy and determined running (271 yards without a run of over 26 yards), also was involved in three of four DP fumbles. The Chargers lost 36 yards on two bad snaps out of shotgun formation and committed 11 penalties for 87 yards.
“That was disturbing,” said Uyesaka. “We will have to do better than that.”
Rivera suffered an apparent hand or wrist injury late in the game and did not return. He finished with 138 yards passing.
DOS PUEBLOS 34, SAN MARCOS 7
Dos Pueblos 7 14 0 13 – 34
San Marcos 7 0 0 0 – 7
SM_Carreno 31 pass from Rivera (Thayer kick) 3:33.
DP_Bartley 5 run (Bornand kick) 2:23.
DP_Johnson fumble recovery in end zone (Bornand kick) 7:58
DP_Bartley 36 run (Bornand kick) 3:29
DP_Bartley 14 run (kick failed)
DP_Thomas 35 interception return (Bornand kick) 9:20.
TEAM TOTALS DP SM
First downs 16 10
Rushes-yards 38-302 34-53
Passing yards 72 149
Total yards 374 202
Passes 4-8-1 11-21-1
Sacks 0-0 4-29
Fumbles 4-2 1-1
Punts 2-37 5-40
Penalties 11-87 2-10
RUSHING_DP: Bartley 25-271, Thomas 3-22, Harris 2-28, Adams 1-6, Yamamoto 3-13, Soto 1-minus-2, bad snap 2-minus-36. SM_Kim 6-10, Lake 3-7, Ruiz 12-35, Rivera 7-minus-26, Carreno 1-1, Griffin 1-0, Osborn 5-27.
PASSING_DP: Adams 4-8-0-72; Bartley 0-1-0-0. SM: Rivera 10-16-1-138; Griffin 1-5-0-11.
RECEIVING_DP: Arias 2-56, Powell 1-8, Harris 1-8. SM: Mendez 3-39, Lake 3-27, Carreno 2-31, Ruiz 1-18, Thayer 2-33.