Defense helps DP break into win column

Josh Bartley scored the go-ahead touchdown a 42-yard run in the fourth quarter, and Dos Pueblos’ defense turned in one big play after another to help the Chargers post their first win of the season, a 9-6 decision over Buena in a Channel League game Bulldog Stadium Friday night.

The result ends a seven-game losing streak for the Chargers (1-7, 1-1) and puts them in the hunt for second place and a CIF playoff berth.

Buena falls to 2-7, 1-2.

The Bulldogs had just taken a 6-3 lead, recovered on onside kick and had all the momentum.

But the DP defense stepped up and denied Buena on a fourth down play at the Charger 31.

The Chargers then put the ball in Bartley’s hands and the senior delivered. He broke into the open field on his third carry and bolted 42 yards into the end zone for a 9-6 lead.

Buena had one last opportunity, but a penalty on the ensuing kickoff return forced the Bulldogs to start at their own 7. A Kendrick Mathis keeper on third-and-1 secured a first down and two plays later Andrew Martinez, who finished with 142 yards rushing on 21 carries, rambled 51 yards to the Dos Pueblos 29.

The Chargers’ defense stiffened again, forcing a fourth-and-2 at the 21. Martinez took the handoff, but was met by a host of defenders.

“Credit Dos Pueblos, they made a nice adjustment (on that play),” Buena coach Cliff Farrar said. “They’re a decent team. They lost to Rio Mesa on the last play. They’re a lot like us … snakebit.”

The Chargers produced just 88 yards in total offense in the first half, but they did manage to score three points — thanks to the right foot of Nicolai Bornand, who connected on a 37-yard field goal with 1:58 left in the first quarter.

Buena’s defense also came up with big plays. Kendrick Mathis intercepted a pass at the Buena 1-yard line to erase a scoring threat and Jacob Rios recovered a Dos Pueblos fumble in the second quarter.

—Courtesy of the Ventura Star