Dos Pueblos makes easy decision of Goodland battle

Dos Pueblos' Josh Flora comes down inbounds with the game's first touchdown, a 16-yard grab on a pass from quarterback Kellen Roberts. (John Dvorak/Presidio Sports Photos)

Dos Pueblos’ Josh Flora comes down inbounds with the game’s first touchdown, a 16-yard grab on a pass from quarterback Kellen Roberts. (John Dvorak/Presidio Sports Photos)

Josh Flora returned with three touchdowns, Manny Nwosu rushed for nearly 200 yards in the first half alone, and the Dos Pueblos Chargers ran away with a 54-15 victory over San Marcos on Friday night.

Nwosu was awarded the Jeff Hesselmeyer MVP trophy after the game for gaining 177 yards on 14 carries and scoring two touchdowns. The senior running back didn’t receive another carry in the second half as the Chargers were up 40-3 at halftime.

Manny Nwosu breaks into the open field for a long run.

Manny Nwosu breaks into the open field for a long run.

“Coach Mendoza put it in my head to run downhill this game,” Nwosu said.

His long run of 57 yards for a touchdown came in the second quarter. It was a 12-minute stretch that crushed the Royals, who made it through the first quarter down only 7-3.

“We had a second quarter to forget. It was just really unfortunate,” said Royals head coach Anthony Linebaugh. “You can’t make mistakes of that magnitude. We talked about that at halftime and I was proud of the way the team played in the second half.”

The Chargers erupted for five touchdowns in the second period on just 13 offensive snaps.

San Marcos stopped the Chargers on their two previous possessions before the big plays started to pile up. Nwosu broke a 25-yard run on a drive that he finished on a 15-yard dash making the score 14-3. On DP’s next possession, Blake Erwin took the first handoff and raced 55 yards for another Dos Pueblos touchdown. A quick three-and-out returned the ball to the Chargers, who only took two plays to score again. Nwosu carried 12 yards to set up a 28-yard catch and run over the middle by Chris Noggle.

With the score 28-3, San Marcos maintained a drive into Charger territory until an interception by Miles Ibarra gave it back to Dos Pueblos. The blows didn’t let up as the very next play was Nwosu’s 57-yard dagger.

“We were very excited about the way the kids came out in the first quarter. We weren’t flat and we ran the ball like we planned on doing, and we had good execution with our O-Line. Our O-Line did an outstanding job,” said Chargers head coach Nate Mendoza.

Flora returned from a stress fracture in his hip – an injury that cost him five games of his senior season – and caught seven passes for 75 yards and three touchdowns.

“It felt good tonight,” Flora said of his hip. “I was worried that it would be sore but it really wasn’t sore at all coming back so that was really nice. I had a lot of adrenaline to help me through the game.”

Junior quarterback Kellen Roberts piled up the stats as well, throwing for four touchdowns.

Roberts, Flora and Nwosu all benefitted from an offensive line that controlled the line of scrimmage. Erick Nisich, Orion Erlich, Michael Arzate, David Carillo and Erik Botello created running lanes and protected the quarterback.

“They played their heart out man. I don’t know what else to do but take them out to dinner or something. It was amazing how they worked today,” Nwosu said.

San Marcos continued to start sophomore quarterback Luke Pollock even though senior D’Shaun Vines returned to the field from injury. Linebaugh said he thought Pollock was doing a good job and that Vines will play anywhere the team needs him. Vines and Ivan Reyes shared a majority of the carries for the Royals. Reyes is who scored San Marcos’ first touchdown on a 14-yard run in the third quarter. Vines still got a chance to throw as his second pass attempt was a completion to the end zone into the hands of Jairo Sosa.

“(Sosa) is new to football. Seeing him have a moment like that was probably one of the silver linings of an otherwise cloudy game that we had,” Linebaugh said.

Flora and Cole Debortoli scored second-half touchdowns for the Chargers.

Even though the Chargers came into the game having lost five of their past six games, Dos Pueblos was able to improve to 3-0 at home this season. Another schedule quirk has the Chargers (3-6, 1-2) closing out their regular season next Friday at home against Ventura.

San Marcos (1-7, 0-2) is at Buena next Friday followed by the Big Game against Santa Barbara in the regular-season finale.