Chargers chase down Cabrillo, 19-17

 It could’ve been a long night for the Dos Pueblos football team.

Cabrillo, showing off a variety of offensive weapons, drove 93 yards down the field and scored a touchdown on its second possession of the game.

But Dane Limosnero and the Chargers’ special teams gave them a huge confidence boost.

Limosnero took the ensuing kickoff and ran 88 yards for a score, and that play, combined with some clutch defensive efforts and a pair of field goals by Branden Tangle, helped Dos Pueblos fight back and pull out a 19-17 victory Friday night at Huyck Stadium in Lompoc.

“That’s probably where the turning point was,” said Dos Pueblos coach Jeff Uyesaka of Limosnero’s electrifying return.

The senior started his return up the middle, cut to the left and sprinted up the sideline untouched. The Chargers missed the point-after kick wide, leaving them behind 7-6. But the touchdown gave the team life.

“It’s one of those things,” Uyesaka said. “It’s a good thing we got that, otherwise we wouldn’t be too happy right now.”

Cabrillo would expand its lead to 14-6 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Matt Rotondi and a Patrick Cook PAT conversion kick.

But Dos Pueblos’ kickoff return team came up big again. This time Limosnero bolted 71 yards before Zachary Holmes of the Conquistadores brought him down at the Cabrillo 26 to save a touchdown.

The Chargers got down to the 3 but had to settle for a Tangle field goal when a pass from quarterback Zack Boytis was dropped in the end zone.

Tangle converted from 25 yards to make it 14-9.

  Another big play by the DP kickoff team would get the ball back. Cabrillo fumbled after a big hit on returner Jordan Watson and the Chargers recovered at the 14-yard line. Three plays later Boytis hit Isaiha Brown in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. Tangle kicked the PAT to give DP a 16-14 advantage at 6:07 of the second quarter.

  “We’ve got to take care of the ball,” Cabrillo coach Craig Knowles stressed. The Conquistadores lost two fumbles and had a pass intercepted. “We can’t give other teams opportunities  to be in successful situations like we did tonight,”

 When Cabrillo was able to hang on to the ball, it was impressive. The Conquistadores compiled 367 yards in total offense with their wing-T attack.

 They reclaimed the lead, 17-16, on a 32-yard field goal by Cook. Cabrillo got down to the 9, but a tackle behind the line of scrimmage by DP defender Michael Rascon and a penalty forced the Conquistadores to settle for the three points.

 The play got sloppy on both sides in the last 1:25 of the first half. The Chargers lost a fumble and threw an interception and Cabrillo had a pass picked off.

 DP capitalized on a Cabrillo fumble to score the eventual winning points in the third quarter. Michael Mendez, who was in the Conquistadore backfield most of the night, recovered the ball on the 20.

  The hard running of Anthony Houston got the ball down to the 6, where the drive stalled. Tangle came through from 22 yards to give the Chargers a 19-17 lead with 6:24 left in the third quarter.

 Then DP had to sweat it out. Cabrillo drove the ball to the Chargers’ 15 but came up short on fourth down. On their next series, the Conquistadores reached the 22, but Mendez sacked Cabrillo quarterback Sean Allen for an 11-yard loss on third down to move them out of field-goal range.

 Cabrillo’s final threat came in the last three minutes of the game. After DP’s Mario Pizano sacked Allen for a 10-yard loss on third down, Allen dusted himself off and threw a perfect pass to receiver Jeff Esparza for a 44-yard gain. That put the ball at the DP 21. Allen and Pizano would combine again on a 7-yard pickup.

 With 35 seconds remaining in the game, Allen scrambled away from Charger defenders and headed for the end zone for what Cabrillo fans thought was the go-ahead score. But just as Allen crossed the goal line, an official threw his flag at around the 10-yard line. The call was a block in the back, which nullified the score.

 “I couldn’t tell if he really got him from the back,” Knowles said of his player.  “I’m not going to whine or complain about it.”

 The Charger defense held on the next play and Cabrillo was hit with a 5-yard penalty, leaving it with a 40-yard field-goal attempt.

 Dos Pueblos used all three of its timeouts before Cabrillo’s Cook took his shot at the game-winning field goal try. The kick fell short.

 The Chargers even their record at 1-1 while Cabrillo falls to 0-2.

DOS PUEBLOS 19, CABRILLO 17

Dos Pueblos……..6  10   3 0 — 19

Cabrillo…………7   10    0   0  — 17

First Quarter

C — Homes 1 run (Cook kick), 2:47

DP — Limosnero 88 kickoff return (kick failed), 2:33

Second Quarter

C — Rotundi 2 run (Cook kick), 9:35

DP — FG, Tangle 25, 7:35

DP — Brown 8 pass from Boytis (Tangle kick), 6:07

C — FG, Cook, 32, 3:16

Third Quarter

DP — FG, Tangle 22, 6:24

TEAM TOTALS…….…DP        C

First Downs…………..6         16

Rushes-yards…28-43  43-144

Passing yards……….93        223

Totals yards……….136        367

Comp-att-int…7-17-2  12-22-1

Punts-avg………….4-30     3-34

Fumbles-lost………2-0       3-2

Penalties…………..4-30      6-32

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—DP: Houston 11-51, Taylor 1-2, Limosnero 6-20, Boytis 5 (-26),  Johnson 2 (-4). Cabrillo: Rotondi 17-104, Whittaker 13-42, Holmes 5-11, Allen 7 (-17), Mickens 1-4.

 PASSING— DP: Boytis 6-16-2, 91, Johnson 1-1-0, 2. C Allen 6-10-1, 132

 RECEIVING—DP: McGaughey 1-38, Eccles 2-13, Brown 1-8, Houston 1-29, Tangle 2-5. Cabrillo: Whittaker 3-87, Esparza 5-97, Holmes 1-18, Elliott 2-11.

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