Roberts is sharp in Dos Pueblos ‘comeback’ win

 

It was comeback night for the Dos Pueblos football, and quarterback Kellen Roberts and the Charger defense made sure they finished the job.

Roberts threw for three touchdowns and the defense held Cabrillo to one touchdown, as the Chargers scored a 35-9 non-league victory on Friday night at Scott O’Leary Stadium.

It was only the second game of the season, but it was an important one for the Chargers because they wanted to erase the bad taste of Week Zero’s 38-24 loss at Pacific in which Pacifica scored 31 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

“I think the guys were hungry. It just shows what kind of character they have after bouncing back from a tough loss like that,” DP coach Nate Mendoza said.

It was also an important win because it came after the Chargers lost standout tight end and defensive end Austen Pearce to a serious leg injury in the first quarter.

Roberts got DP out to a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, throwing a 30-yard fade on fourth and 7 that Josh Flora ran under and caught in the end zone. Josh Feldhaus kicked the first of his five PATs.

“Oh, man; pretty much when I throw it up to Josh Flora, I know he’s going to catch the ball. It’s not a prayer when I throw it up to him.”

Mendoza was pleased to see the Chargers (1-1) convert on third- and fourth-down plays

“I think we had four or five conversions tonight and that’s big; we move the chains and we help our D out,” he said. “Our D is playing outstanding and it’s on the offense to keep the chains moving.”

Roberts did a nice job running the DP no-huddle offense. He completed 14 of 22 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 67 yards and a score. He had one interception but bounced back and ran for DP’s second touchdown of the night.

Cabrillo (1-1) threatened to tie the score after the interception in the second period. The Conquistadores drove to the DP 3. On second and goal, Charger linebacker Chris Noggle burst into the backfield and tackled Eli Mayhew for a 2-yard loss.

“I’m very happy with the way he’s holding it down for us in the middle,” Mendoza said of the junior linebacker.

On third down, the Chargers dropped Mayhew again.

Cabrillo faked a field goal try on fourth down but holder Sean Wood’s pass attempt was broken up by Isaac Ramirez.

The defense ended up scoring points for Cabrillo as Evan Strom and John Splitter swarmed DP running back Manny Nwosu in the end zone for a safety to make it 7-2.

The Conquistadores went three and out on their next possession and then Roberts took over. The junior led the Chargers an 87-yard drive. He showed his coolness on one play, picking up a fumbled snap and then firing a 38-yard strike to Flora. After a 10-yard penalty, Roberts threw a beautiful ball to Marcellous Gossett, who made spectacular diving catch at the 5. On the next play, Roberts ran it in for the TD and a 14-2 lead with 1:24 left in the second quarter.

DP’s offensive line dominated in the second half. The Chargers rolled down the field on their first possession of the half, with Roberts hitting Flora on a 23-yard slant for the touchdown. Feldhaus’ kick made it 21-2.

“My O-line played unbelievable,” Roberts said. “They controlled the line of scrimmage and just took over the game for me.”

“We’re an up-tempo offense and I think it started to wear them out in the second half,” Mendoza said of the line’s play. “You could see the Cabrillo defense was a little gassed and we started running down hill a little bit.”

Nwosu ended DP’s next drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Running back Jalen Howard scored Cabrillo’s only touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Roberts then put together an impressive 13-play, 73-yard time-consuming drive that was capped by a 6-yard slant pass to Gossett.

“I really commend the O-line for that last drive. That last drive was outstanding. That’s a great way to end the game.”

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