FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Four teams open with Week Zero games

The high school football season kicks off Friday night with four of the five local schools playing Week Zero games.

By starting this early, Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Bishop Diego will take bye weeks during the season. Carpinteria, meanwhile, will open its season on Week 1 next Friday and play 10 consecutive weeks.

Here is a capsule look at Friday night’s games, which all start at 7 p.m.:

Oxnard at Santa Barbara: JT Stone makes his high school coaching debut with the Dons in one of the oldest rivalries on the South Coast. If Santa Barbara’s offensive line can protect strong-armed quarterback Brent Peus, the Dons should score a lot of points. The line will be up against a physical and experienced Oxnard front. The Yellowjackets have several players over 220 pounds, including senior Andrew Vazquez at 6-3, 315.


Pacifica at Dos Pueblos: The Chargers have a bigger, stronger offensive line, which will help their running game and protect senior quarterback Barrett Burnes. Their defense will be tested in the opener as Pacifica has some veteran skilled position players, including transfer quarterback Adan Salas and dynamic wide receiver Deondre Vines. DP coach Nate Mendoza said the Chargers to get after it. “We’re definitely hungry to play an opponent and  compete against somebody other than ourselves,” he said.


West Ranch at San Marcos: The Royals face a team with a massive roster. There are 71 players on the roster West Ranch submitted to MaxPreps. The Valencia school has a returning quarterback in Chase Killingsworth. He threw for 1400 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. It also has good size on the line. “They have some very talented athletes,” San Marcos coach Anthony Linebaugh said. “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to start the season with such a quality opponent. The starting quarterback for San Marcos will be a game-time decision, said Linebaugh. Sage Reid and Joseph Estrada have been competing for the job.


Bishop Diego at Oak Park: This used to be a Tri-Valley League game. But CIF releaguing moved Oak Park into the newly created Canyon League. Bishop Diego will be going with a new quarterback. Junior Spencer Stovesand was named the starter by coach Tom Crawford. “Spencer Stovesand will start for us Friday but I expect both he and Chris Harrison will see action,” Crawford said. “Both continue to progress well and Spencer in particular was very sharp in our scrimmage.” The Cardinals have a go-to player in All-CIF running back Abel Gonzalez. Oak Park has a new coach (Tim Kenney) and several new players. Of greater concern for Crawford is the development of his squad. “In all honesty, at this stage of the season we are trying to keep focus on our own development and progress, including how we adjust when we confront things which are ‘new.’”