Defense doesn’t break for Dons in 7-6 win

For the second straight game, the special teams and defense saved a victory for Santa Barbara High.

The Dons blocked a Rio Mesa extra-point attempt and escaped with a 7-6 football win on the road on Friday night.

Last week, they pounced on a bad snap on a potential game-winning field goal at Channel Islands.

The Dons are now 2-2 while Rio Mesa falls to 1-3.

Rio Mesa quarterback Cameron Wrout hit Marquis Mottley over the middle and Mottley turned it into a 71-yard play to make it a 7-6 game late in the third quarter. The PAT, however, was blocked by the Dons’ Junior Garcia.

Rio Mesa put together a drive and moved the ball to the Santa Barbara 7. Running back Michael Kytlica took a handoff and appeared to muscle his way across the goal line but was ruled down at the 1. The next snap went over Wrout’s head and Rio Mesa recovered at the 23.

After a false-start penalty against the Spartans, Santa Barbara held on fourth down.

With Santa Barbara’s offense sputtering, Rio Mesa got the ball back and drove to the Dons’ 5. On fourth-and-3, the Spartans elected to go for it and Wrout was sacked at the 15.

Santa Barbara scored its only touchdown after recovering a Rio Mesa fumble at the Spartans’ 34. Dons ran the ball six straight plays and scored on a 5-yard run by quarterback Brent Peus. Hugo Ronces kicked the eventual winning extra point.

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