Evans throws 4 TDs to carry SBCC, 27-24

Neither a change of venue nor a slow start could deter SBCC’s football team from starting the season 3-0.

Jarred Evans threw four touchdown passes in the second half on Saturday and the Vaqueros rallied for a 27-24 victory over Compton. The game was played at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach due to electrical problems at Compton’s field.

The 3-0 start is the best since 1996. The Vaqueros have beaten Compton 11 of the last 12 times and lead the all-time series 25-3.

The Vaqueros punted on their first four possessions and trailed 3-0 at halftime.

“There’s no excuse,” said Evans, a 6-3 sophomore from Queens, N.Y. “We woke up early (for the 1 p.m. game) and it was something different. We came out lazy and lackadaisical.”

Evans directed a 61-yard march to open the third quarter, capped by a 9-yard TD pass to Jacob Arnell that gave SBCC its first lead at 7-3.

Evans completed 12-of-14 passes in the second half for 247 yards and four TDs. For the game, he was 17-28 for a career-high 321 yards with one interception. He also led the Vaqueros in rushing with 62 yards on 15 attempts, giving him 383 yards of total offense.

Arnell caught six passes for 100 yards and two scores. His second TD was a 26-yard strike on the fourth play of the fourth quarter and put SBCC ahead 13-10. Arnell had another TD called back — his third in two games — when his 57-yard punt return in the second quarter was wiped out by a block in the back.

Compton’s Kevin Lane piled up 193 yards on 27 rushing attempts with a 14-yard touchdown. Connor Hustead picked up 53 yards on seven rushes for the Vaqueros and caught three passes for 53 yards.

“We got the win,” said coach Craig Moropoulos. “It wasn’t the way we wanted it but when you can win a game like that, you have to have some heart. We were sluggish on both sides of the ball in the first half.

“We came out in the second half and went right down the field for a TD and that was exactly what we needed.”

Compton won the first-down battle 24-19 but SBCC prevailed in total yardage 485-422. The Vaqueros allowed 257 rushing yards on 53 attempts and suffered 14 penalties for 135 yards.

After the Vaqueros went ahead 13-10, Jacob Arnell muffed a punt and the Tartars’ Mike Crockett recovered at the Vaq 14. On the next play, Lane rushed into the end zone to put Compton back on top 17-13.

It took Santa Barbara just three plays to regain the lead. On third-and-23 from his own 38, Evans flipped a flat pass to Mike Petersen who eluded a tackler, got a great block from receiver Cody Wells and was gone for a 62-yard touchdown. Marcus Hoerberg’s PAT kick gave the Vaqueros a 20-17 edge.

After Compton missed a 37-yard field goal, the Vaqueros boosted the lead to 10 points at 27-17. They covered 80 yards in five plays, capped by a 49-yard bomb from Evans to Tyler Higby with 4:29 to play.

Morgan Nevin had a career-high 21 tackles and one forced fumble. The sophomore linebacker from Truckee, Calif., sparked the Vaquero defense during a four-down, goal-line stand. After Lane ran 63 yards to the 2-yard line, the Vaqueros stuffed the Tartars on four straight runs.

SBCC opens American Pacific Conference play on Saturday when it hosts unbeaten L.A. Valley at 1 p.m.