Gonzalez, Figueroa star in Cardinals victory

OXNARD—Bishop Diego’s Brandon Gonzalez came within 30 yards last night of replicating his career-high 179-yard rushing performance in a loss to Fillmore earlier this season. But last night at Santa Clara High, Gonzalez came away with something better: a 30-20 win.

“He ran very similar (to the Fillmore game) tonight in terms of how hard he hit the line of scrimmage,” said Cardinals head coach Tom Crawford.


But while Gonzalez’s 149 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries were impressive, the night truly belonged to Vince Figueroa, who caught two TD passes, forced a fumble and registered a tackle for a loss.

“That was probably the best game of Vince’s career,” said Crawford. “He was a force defensively, had some nice tackles, and probably the biggest play was a fine catch there in the corner of the end zone on fourth down to score. It’s good for him, because he’s been dealing with some injuries, but he’s finally healthy.”

Down 14-3 after Santa Clara (1-7, 0-3) opened the second quarter with a Scott Koen touchdown run, the Cardinals (2-6, 1-2) capitalized on a botched handoff fumbled by Saints signal-caller Michael Laubaucher to take possession at the Santa Clara 12-yard line.

After several successful rushes by Gonzalez to get Bishop Diego to the three-yard line, the Cardinals were pushed back by a penalty and faced a fourth-and-13 from the 15. That’s when Bishop Diego QB Kyle Holland found Figueroa in the back right corner of the endzone for the first of their two TD hookups.

“The simple reality of it is that, in a game like this, he played with a lot of poise,” Crawford said of his quarterback, who went 8-for-12 for 92 yards. “He made a couple of big throws when he was under heat that turned out to be big plays for us.”

But Figueroa, for his part, was far from finished. With less than 30 seconds before halftime and the Cardinals trailing by four, the Holland-Figueroa combo struck again on fourth down, this time for a seven-yard scoring strike to put Bishop Diego ahead for good.

With Santa Clara driving on their first series of the second half, Figueroa halted the Saints’ momentum in its tracks. After tallying two first downs on a 20-yard run by Dominique Yoro and a 12-yard rumble by Koen, Santa Clara had moved well into Bishop Diego’s territory. On a run by Koen up the middle, Figueroa came in with a head of steam, knocking the ball loose at the line of scrimmage and immediately pounced on the fumble.

That defensive stop set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Cardinals held the Saints scoreless for nearly the rest of the half, allowing just an 11-yard Laubacher TD pass to Yoro with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Bishop Diego 30, Santa Clara 20

Tri-Valley League

Bishop Diego    3    14    7    6—30

Santa Clara    7    7    00    6—00

First quarter

SC — Koen 1-yd run (Werre kick), 6:17.

BD — Morando 32-yd FG, 3:24

Second quarter

SC — Koen 5-yd run (Werre kick), 11:16.

BD — Figueroa 15-yd pass from Holland (Morando kick), 5:07.

BD — Figueroa 7-yd pass from Holland (Morando kick), 0:18.8

Third quarter

BD — Gonzalez 3-yd run (Morando kick), 8:41.

Fourth quarter

BD — No. 8, 30-yd INT return (Morando kick missed), 1:24.

SC— Yoro 11-yd pass from Laubaucher (Laubaucher pass failed), 0:45.6.


First downs    14    11

Rushes-yards    39-148    23-126

Passing yards    92    80

Comp-Att-Int    8-12-0    6-11-1

Sacked-yards lost    3-42    0-00

Fumbles-lost    0-0    3-2

Penalties-yards    5-45    6-35


RUSHING — Bishop Diego: Gonzalez 25-149, P. Garcia 6-27, Holland 6-(-32), B. Garcia 2-4. Santa Clara: Koen 10-66, J. Hernandez 1-3, M. Ramirez 5-26, Clemons 1-1, Yoro 4-15, Hull 2-15.

PASSING — Bishop Diego: Holland 8-12-0-92. Santa Clara: Laubaucher 6-11-1-80.

RECEIVING — Bishop Diego: P. Garcia 1-16, Gonzalez 1-4, Figueroa 2-22, B. Garcia 1-1, Yonke 1-12, G. Garcia 2-37. Santa Clara: Koen 2-6, Galloway 1-22, Yoro 3-50.

MISSED FIELD GOALS — Santa Clara: Werre 53.

TEAM RECORDS — Bishop Diego 1-7, 1-2; Santa Clara 1-7, 0-3.