Dons can’t get on the board, fall 28-0

OXNARD – When you’ve got a virtually brand-new group of players to put on the field, taking on the always-tough Oxnard Yellowjackets is a tough way to start things up.

The Santa Barbara Dons went on the road and improved in the second half but spun their wheels at key moments on offense and ended up on the wrong end of a 28-0 decision Friday night.

Quarterback R.J. Rosborough, making his first appearance as a Don after transferring from Carpinteria, went 10-for-23 with an interception and tallied 140 yards through the air on the night while dealing with heavy pressure, gaining just eight yards with his legs.


“It was a rough game. There’s not much to say about it,” said the soft-spoken senior. “The second half we started getting in sync, but we got stuck on the goal line. We’ll start figuring each other out and get better.”

Oxnard, meanwhile, used a triple-option for much of the game and thrived in the running game thanks to the one-two punch of running back Alex Gavin and fullback Henry Fernandez. The duo combined for 221 yards on the ground as Oxnard did all of its scoring in the first half and didn’t throw a pass after halftime.

Quarterback Billy Ceja went 3-for-6, passing for 36 yards including a pair of 11-yard scores to 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver Tiai Salanoa.

Santa Barbara (0-1) was knocking on the door deep in Yellowjackets (1-0) territory twice in the fourth quarter but was thwarted both times. The first was on a first-and-goal at the six, where two incomplete passes and a rush for a loss of four left Chase Chandler with a 27-yard field goal attempt. The snap was high and Chandler was forced to try a throw that fell short.

Page SponsorshipThe senior was also the Dons’ leading receiver on the night, catching six passes for 82 yards.

Chandler made a 42-yard catch down the sideline later in the game on a majestic deep ball from Rosborough which left Santa Barbara on the two yard-line with four tries to punch it in. Rosborough rushed twice but was pushed back three yards, and a penalty set the visitors back to the 10. He was stopped at the line on the next play before just missing on a pass to Kenny Foster in the corner of the end zone.

Coach Jaime Melgoza said that he expects Rosborough and the offense to improve greatly from week-to-week.

“It’s gonna come down to the protection he gets and also him getting into a rhythm,” said Melgoza. “We’re going to be able to play with people this year… We played well in the second half and we can’t blame our players or our coaching staff. I’m gonna put this all on myself and we’re going to continue to get better.”

Brayden Stuva, who is expected to get the bulk of the carries as the Dons’ running back this season, came up limping a bit after a play in the first quarter and Issac Cardenas replaced him admirably, running hard and gaining 43 yards on 10 carries in the second half.

The Dons defense had to battle early, as Oxnard’s first drive went 80 yards on 16 plays and lasted nearly eight minutes before Salanoa made his first touchdown grab.

Next up for Santa Barbara is a home game against Beverly Hills on Friday night.


Oxnard…7  21  0  0  — 28

Santa Barbara…0  0  0  0 — 0

First Quarter

O — Salanoa 11 pass from Ceja (Gonzalez kick), 4:12

Second Quarter

O — Gavin 8 run (Gonzalez kick), 9:24

O — Fernandez 1 run (Gonzalez kick), 7:08

O — Salanoa 11 pass from Ceja (Gonzalez kick), 5:30


First downs…12, 17

Rushes-Yards…30-70, 44-289

Passing yards…140, 39

Total yards…240, 328

Passes (Comp-Att-Int)…10-24-1, 3-6-39

Punts-avg…3-43.3, 1-26

Fumbles-lost…0-0, 2-1

Penalties…4-30, 2-10

Individual Statistics

Rushing — SB: Stuva 3-13, Cardenas 10-43, Rosborough 16-8, Perez 1-6. O: Gavin 21-132, Fernandez 11-89, Ceja 8-44, Penaloza 1-14, Zaragoza 3-10.

Passing — SB: Rosborough 10-23-0-140, Chandler 0-0-0-0. O: Ceja 3-6-2-39.

Receiving — SB: Chandler 6-82, Foster 2-34, Perez 2-9, Jimenez 1-5, Laguna 1-16. O: Salanoa 2-22, Arguello 1-17.