Lompoc spoils DP’s first home game

A punishing Lompoc High rushing attack and a few critical miscues prevented Dos Pueblos High from winning its first true home football game in the Goleta school’s 42-year history.

The Chargers managed to light up its new scoreboard first, scoring on their opening drive in front of an estimated crowd of 3,000. But Lompoc answered by compiling 246 rushing yards and capitalizing on DP mistakes to roll to a 31-17 non-league victory Friday at Scott O’Leary Stadium.

“A lot of the old alums came out, and we sold out tickets, I heard,” said DP coach Jeff Uyesaka. “This is something we’ve worked on getting, and we’ve longed for it for a long time. It’s just unfortunate that we filled the loss column in our first game here.”

Lompoc High tailback Bobby Collins rushed for 189 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the Braves’ potent ground game. He compiled 87 yards in the first half alone, scoring during Lompoc’s decisive 20-point second quarter.

“We saw that some things were said here about Bobby Collins, so we decided to give them Bobby Collins … many doses of Bobby Collins,” said Lompoc coach Robin Luken, referring to comments the team read from the Santa Barbara-area media. “He was running well, and we stuck with him.”

Uyesaka added: “When we saw the tape on (Collins), we thought he had some potential, but he ran a lot better against us tonight than we’ve seen on tape,” said DP coach Jeff Uyesaka. “And their line did a good job of blocking for him. They really manhandled us up front.”

After decades of playing Friday nights at rival San Marcos High or UCSB’s Harder Stadium, the Chargers opened Scott O’Leary Stadium with the kind of hard hitting that would have made the facility’s namesake proud. The Chargers absorbed the first blow – an onside kick on the opening kickoff by Lompoc. A loud clash forced a loose ball, but DP managed to recover at its own 27-yard line to start its opening drive.

“There was so much excitement about their first game, we wanted to come out here and score first,” Luken said. “We had the onside kick, and it worked, but we couldn’t jump on the ball.”

DP (1-3) mounted an efficient seven-play, 63-yard drive, which was capped by a 12-yard touchdown run by quarterback Zack Boytis at the 8:31 mark in the first quarter. The Chargers tallied five first downs on the drive, but they only mustered three more during the rest of the half.

“That was one of our goals. We wanted to be the first ones to score on our own field,” Uyesaka said. “But our big thing is being consistent. We weren’t consistent on offense, and we made some mistakes.”

Lompoc (4-0) fumbled on its opening drive. Dos Pueblos’ Tyler McGaughey pounced on the ball to put the Chargers at Lompoc’s 45. But the Chargers’ offense stalled, forcing the team to punt and pin Lompoc on its own 14-yard line.

Collins promptly set the tone for the night, breaking off a 20-yard run to start the Braves’ 13-play 86-yard drive, which fullback Favian Vargas finished with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to tie the game at 7-7 with 10:09 left in the half.

The Braves then capitalized on a 10-yard DP punt, which gave Lompoc prime field position on DP’s 34 at the 6:13 mark. Successive rushes by Vargas and Collins moved Lompoc to DP’s 3-yard line. On a fourth-and-1 play, Collins muscled his way into the end zone for a 3-yard TD and a 14-7 Lompoc lead.

In the waning moments of the half, a DP punt return was nullified by a face-mask penalty, pinning the Chargers back at their own 11. With 51 seconds left, DP moved the ball to the 21 on a 10-yard gain by tailback Anthony Houston. A pass completion followed, but the receiver fumbled the ball and Lompoc’s Jamel Whitaker returned it to DP’s 13-yard line.

On the next play, Lompoc’s sophomore quarterback Ryan Bower found Rudy Yruegas in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard scoring strike. The extra point was wide left, forcing Lompoc to settle for a 20-7 halftime lead.

“That fumble was the difference between us going into halftime trailing by one touchdown and going in trailing by two scores,” Uyesaka said.

DP moved the ball well on its first drive of the second half. The drive was keyed by a 42-yard pass play from Boytis to Cody Bidlow. Boytis hit his wide receiver with a quick slant, and Bidlow did the rest, shaking off two tacklers and sprinting down the visitors’ sideline. The Chargers would cap the drive by settling for a 32-yard field goal by Branden Tangle to cut Lompoc’s lead to 10 with 2:43 left in the third quarter.

Collins quickly helped Lompoc regain the momentum on its ensuing drive with rushes of 20, 18 and 15 yards. The tailback would finish the 73-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run, then catch a pass for the two-point conversion from quarterback Richard Hirzel to give the Braves a 28-10 lead in the fourth quarter.

Luken said his team was motivated for the game by the notion of avoiding an induction into DP’s trophy case, figuring the game ball from the Chargers’ first home victory would be worthy of a mantle.

“I know Cabrillo has a ball in their trophy case from when they beat Lompoc for the first time,” said Braves coach Robin Luken. “I got a football, showed our kids what one would look like in DP’s trophy case and told them that we didn’t want to let them have it.”

DP capped its scoring with a 60-yard TD pass from Boytis to Dane Limosnero, which cut the Chargers’ deficit to 28-17 in the fourth quarter. But the Chargers’ next possession ended on an interception by Collins.

Boytis finished 9-of-15 for 152 yards with one TD and one pick. The Chargers rushed for 106 yards, but two bad shotgun snaps accounted for 42 negative yards.

“We have kids here who are willing to play their hearts out for us,” Uyesaka said. “So for us, as coaches, we have to put them in the best possible position to help them be successful.”

(Photos taken by Roy Mata/Presidiopics)

LOMPOC 31, DOS PUEBLOS 17

Lompoc………0 20    0    11 — 31

Dos Pueblos..7   0     3     7 — 17

First quarter

DP — Boytis 12 run (Tangle kick), 8:31.

Second quarter

L — Vargas 1 run (Sapp kick), 10:09.

L — Collins 3 run (Sapp kick), 3:28.

L — Yruegas 13 pass from Bower (kick failed), :27.

Third quarter

DP — Tangle 32 FG, 2:43.

Fourth quarter

L — Collins 6 run (Collins pass from Hirzel), 11:02.

DP — Limonsnero 60 pass from Boytis (Tangle kick), 9:33.

L — Sapp 37 FG, 1:47.

TEAM TOTALS           L            DP

First downs                17           14

Rushes-yards     45-246     36-64

Passing yards            52           152

Comp-Att-Int    6-7-0      9-15-1

Sacks-yards lost    0-00        2-17

Punts-avg.         3-37.7       3-21.3

Fumbles-lost          2-1            2-1

Penalties-yards     5-55         3-25

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Lompoc: Collins 25-189, Vargas 10-28, Aguilar 5-13, Sapp 1-9, Whitaker 2-9, Hirzel 2-(minus 2). Dos Pueblos: Limonsnero 9-50, Houston 8-29, Boytis 8-27, Team 2-(minus 42).

PASSING — Lompoc: Hirzel 4-4-0-38, Bower 2-3-0-14. Dos Pueblos: Boytis 9-15-1-152.

RECEIVING — Lompoc: Vargas 3-27, Aguilar 2-12, Yruegas 1-13. Dos Pueblos: Brown 3-23, McGaughey 2-14, Limonsnero 1-60, Bidlow 1-42, Ibarra 1-10, Tangle 1-3.

MISSED FIELD GOALS — None

TEAM RECORDS — Lompoc 4-0; Dos Pueblos 1-2.

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