Ventura’s defense smothers Dos Pueblos

Dos Pueblos running back Anthony Spiritosanto is pursued by several Ventura defenders.

Dos Pueblos contained Ventura’s potent offense, but the Chargers struggled to move the ball and suffered a 13-6 loss in the Channel League football opener at Scott O’Leary Staium on Friday night.

With the win, Ventura improves to 7-0 and avenges last season’s heartbreaking loss to Dos Pueblos on the final regular-season game that cost the Cougars a league title. Dos Pueblos fell to 0-7.

Ventura used relentless pressure on Dos Pueblos quarterbacks to end nine drives in three-and-out. Defensive linemen Tevin Krall, a sophomore, and Zack Hayes spearheaded the effort, while Patrick Kim provided two sacks from his linebacker spot. The secondary, led by senior safety Robert Marlow, didn’t allow a completed pass until two minutes into the fourth quarter, and contributed to holding Dos Pueblos to 30 total yards in the first half.

The Chargers kept Ventura off the scoreboard until the second quarter. After a missed field goal, Ventura quarterback Rodney Stanley led an 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Conner Armstrong. Three minutes later, a forced three-and-out gave Stanley a short field to find Leo Camacho for a 12-yard touchdown to give Ventura a 13-0 lead before the break.

Dos Pueblos continued to hang around before inserting backup Armando Arzate as its quarterback. Arzate provided an immediate spark by leading a 60-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter, finding wideout Jake Roberts for a 21-yard touchdown.

After a missed Ventura field goal failed to extend the 13-6 lead, the Cougars defense responded with another shutdown of the Dos Pueblos offense.

Ventura regained possession with three minutes to play, needing just two first downs to drain the clock.

—Ventura Star