Craddock provides spark in Carpinteria’s comeback win

Nipomo had a 6-0 lead against Carpinteria with four minutes to go in the third quarter, and the Titans were drooling over thoughts of their first win in over a season.

The host Warriors (2-0) took a bib to the drool and mopped up down the stretch, as sophomore quarterback Ian Craddock found star tailback Alex Rodriguez for a 79-yard touchdown pass and the Warriors surged to a 24-13 win Friday night.

Craddock’s first touchdown pass came with 3:55 to go in the third, and he would have a hand in every Warriors score from that point forward, kicking a 25-yard field goal, punching in a TD on a one-yard run and throwing an 18-yard scoring strike to Anthony Garcia to cap the night’s scoring.

Garcia sealed Nipomo’s fate by intercepting a pass in the waning minutes to put the game away.

“I just sat in the hole waiting for it, and when I picked it it just felt like a great way to end the game,” said Garcia.

Carpinteria, ranked No. 5 in the Northwest Division, racked up 379 yards of total offense and forced two second-half turnovers. In his second varsity start at quarterback, Craddock threw for 220 yards and completed 14 of 21 pass attempts.

Rodriguez, a diminutive speedster, bowled his way to 109 yards on 19 carries and picked up another 119 on five catches.

“He’s got great instincts and great moves,” said coach Ben Hallock. “He’s not tall but he’s really strong, so he can break tackles. He’s just an outstanding young man.”

As if he didn’t do enough on the field during the game, Rodriguez spent some time playing catch with youngsters on the field afterwards.

Nipomo (0-3) quarterback Chris Souza eclipsed the century-mark with 103 yards on the ground and threw for 54 more. He scored on touchdown runs of two and 28 yards, but Carpinteria was unorthodox in its kicking game, and it made a big difference. Missing their starting kicker, the Warriors were left with Craddock to do the kicking duties. As a result, they went for it from the 12-yard-line with time running out in the half and Craddock was picked in the end zone, leaving the Titans with a 6-0 edge at the break.

After Rodriguez’s long touchdown catch tied the score at 6-6 in the third, the Warriors elected to go for two instead of kicking the go-ahead field goal. They converted when Rodriguez ran left of the pack and punched it in to go up 8-6.

Souza’s second TD, along with the extra point, made it 13-8 in favor of the Titans with 2:05 to go in the third, and the Warriors responded by deciding to take their chances with Craddock’s foot on his 25-yard field goal with 8:05 to go in the game.

Instead of letting Craddock try to let it rip on the following kickoff, Carpinteria booted a squib kick that bounced off of numerous Titans before Anthony Graham recovered it for the Warriors.

“One of the things we decided early on is that we wanted to be one of those teams that is gonna be unpredictable and make you take your time to prepare for in the kicking game,” said Hallock. “We thought it fit our team personality… We’ve worked real hard on all those onsides and all that stuff.”

Craddock would complete a 17-yard-pass to Jordan Robinson and a 12-yarder to Gustavo Arreola to set up his one-yard TD run. Nipomo fumbled it right back two plays later, and Craddock found Garcia on the final touchdown pass soon after.

The Warriors will try to remain unbeaten when they host longtime rival Santa Ynez next week with the “Warrior Spirit Never Dies and Pirate Pride” trophy on the line.


Nipomo…0  6  7  0 — 13

Carpinteria…0  0  8  16 — 24  

Second quarter

N — Souza 2 run (PAT no good), 0:55.

Third quarter

C — Rodriguez 79 pass from Craddock (Rodriguez run), 3:55

N — Souza 28 run (Apetz kick), 2:05

Fourth quarter

C — Craddock 25 kick, 8:01

C — Craddock 1 run (conv. failed), 6:29

C — Garcia 18 pass from Craddock (Craddock kick), 24-13


First Downs…10, 18

Rushes-yards…34-213, 35-166

Passing yards…54, 220

Total yards…267, 386

Penalties…13-84, 8-60


Rushing: N — Springer 19-83, Souza 10-103, #42 2-12, #32 108, #25 2-7. C — Rodriguez 19-109, Cortez 1-(-4), Moorhouse 9-42, Mendoza 2-8, Craddock 2-2, Arreola 2-9.

Passing: N — Souza 7-13-54. C — Craddock 14-21-220.

Receiving: N — #17 2-20, #12 2-3, #44 1-23, #88 1-6, #16 1-2. C — Garcia 1-18, Arreola 1-10, Rodriguez 1-119, Mendoza 1-2, Robinson 4-43, Moorhouse 2-26.