San Marcos wins “Big Game” for Marcos, 35-13

Big GameIf Marcos Arredondo had been in the stands at Valley Stadium on Friday night, he would have liked what he saw.

San Marcos dominated Santa Barbara by rushing for 366 yards to win the 50th annual “Big Game” 35-13 and claim the city championship.

Arredondo, a 2009 graduate and former football player for San Marcos, was killed by a wrong-way driver last weekend on Highway 101. On the day he was buried, his former football team rose up in honor of him.

“All week we’ve been thinking about our friend Marcos. We all went to the funeral together as a team today, and it was a big motivation for us. We played this game for him,” said running back Cody Clark, who rushed for 167 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns.

The performance earned him the Gary Blades Memorial MVP Trophy.

“I’ve been looking forward to this since I was 10 years old. I’ve always wanted this, and scoring two touchdowns is more than I could have asked for,” he said.

For Santa Barbara, this will be a season to forget. For only the second time in the school’s storied history the Dons failed to come up with a win. The other season was 2005.



“Their running game was unstoppable and we made a lot of mistakes,” said first-year coach Jaime Melgoza, who inherited virtually no returning starters from last year’s squad.

“It was one of them years. I’ve gotta lift my head up, because it’s going to be a long offseason and I’m gonna go back to work tomorrow,” he said.

Santa Barbara quarterback R.J. Rosborough tries to fend off San Marcos defender Jake Buchanan

Santa Barbara quarterback R.J. Rosborough tries to fend off San Marcos defender Jake Buchanan

After a scoreless first quarter, the game opened up a bit and San Marcos took a 14-6 lead into halftime after a five-yard touchdown run by Kyle Miller and a three-yard quarterback sneak from James Crook. Santa Barbara scored after Miller’s run on a 34-yard pass from quarterback R.J. Rosborough to leading receiver Kenny Foster, but the two-point conversion failed.

The third quarter began ominously for the Dons and was painful all the way through for the Dons.

On the kickoff, the Royals booted a squib kick that bounced off of a Santa Barbara player and right back to San Marcos’ Justin Duran. A 41-yard run by Dillon Keefer on the ensuing drive set up the Royals at the Santa Barbara 3-yard line, and Keefer eventually punched in a one-yard touchdown that made it 21-6.

The Dons’ next drive ended when Rosborough’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Victor Mendez, and Clark got the ball on six of the next seven plays, with the final one being his first touchdown of the night from a yard out.

It got even worse for the Dons when they fumbled the next kickoff to give it right back to San Marcos. A 25-yard pass from Crook to Bennie Kirkwood along with six rushing plays ended up with another score by Clark, this one a three-yard scamper with 1:08 in the quarter that put the Royals up 35-6.

Rosborough and Foster had a great rhythm on the night, connecting eight times for 119 yards and two touchdowns, including a 16-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.

San Marcos running back Cody Clark won the Gary Blades Memorial MVP Trophy.

San Marcos running back Cody Clark won the Gary Blades Memorial MVP Trophy.

San Marcos coach Jeff Hesselmeyer got the Gatorade dunk as the clock ran out, but afterwards he stood stoically to the side as his team wildly celebrated with the Big Game trophy. He said his program drew a lot of inspiration from the tragedy.

“It was the worst tragedy you could have, and the kids rallied around pretty hard for him,” he said, holding back the emotion.

(Photos by James Sinclair)


Santa Barbara…0 6 0 7 — 13

San Marcos…0 14 21 0 — 35

Second quarter

SM – Miller 5 run (Gutierrez kick), 8:45.

SB – Foster 34 pass from Rosborough (conv. failed), 5:31.

SM – Crook 3 run (Gutierrez kick), 0:28.

Third quarter

SM – Keefer 1 run (Gutierrez kick), 8:59.

SM – Clark 1 run (Gutierrez kick), 3:57.

SM – Clark 3 run (Gutierrez kick), 1:08.

Fourth quarter

SB – Foster 16 pass from Rosborough (Chandler kick).

First Downs…11, 22
Rushes-yards…11-10, 63-366
Passing yards…210, 48
Total yards…220, 414
Passes…18-30-2, 3-6-48
Penalties…8-48, 11-90

Rushing – SB: Chandler 3-7, Rosborough 7-1, MPerez 1-2. SM: Clark 27-167, Miller 17-75, Hernandez 3-11, Gutierrez 1-7, Cruz 6-29, Keefer 8-59, Crook 1-3, Kim 4-9, Blum 1-3, Marin 1-3.
Passing – SB: Rosborough 18-30-2-210. SM: Crook 3-6-0-48.
Receiving – SB: Foster 8-119, Gebhart 1-6, Wilhoite 4-19, BPerez 3-42, Chandler 2-4, MPerez 1-20. SM: Duran 1-12, Kirkwood 2-36.