Peus-Bigelow combination strikes it big in win over DP


When a quarterback and wide receiver connect on a post pattern for a touchdown, it’s a thing of beauty.

The Santa Barbara High passing combination of quarterback Brent Peus and receiver Mason Bigelow nailed it twice on post-pattern passes in the Dons’ 35-14 victory over Dos Pueblos on Friday night at Peabody Stadium.

The win keeps Santa Barbara in the hunt for the Channel League title with a 1-1 record. Dos Pueblos falls to 0-2 in league play.

Bigelow had a big night catching the football for the Dons (5-3 overall), hauling in 11 catches for 114 yards. Two of those receptions were on post patterns for touchdowns. The first one, a 22-yarder, capped an 80-yard drive on their first possession of the game. The second home-run ball went for 33 yards in the third quarter to give Santa Barbara a 35-7 lead. Both plays came on third down.

“Brent and I have been wanting to hit a deep post the entire season and we hit two tonight,” Bigelow said. “It feels so great. It’s nice to happen on senior night.”

Peus said it’s great watching Bigelow make big plays. “He wants it more than anyone out here,” he said. “He’s so reliable it’s unbelievable. He’s so solid.”

On the TD passes, “We’ve been waiting to go over the top and get that safety to bite,” Peus explained. “The first one, (Mason) was the inside receiver, trips to the other side and that safety was just too low. On pre-snap, I was saying, ‘You’re going to play that low, Mason is going to burn you.’ The next one we went play action, the safety bit and I just tried to hang in the pocket and give (Mason) a shot at the ball and he ran under it.”

Mason Bigelow leaps to grab Santa Barbara's first touchdown in front of defender Isaac Lopez.

Mason Bigelow leaps to grab Santa Barbara’s first touchdown in front of defender Isaac Lopez. (John Dvorak/Presidio Sports Photos)

Bigelow actually outran two DP defenders to make the catch.

“He doesn’t look like much , but he’s the best wide receiver in this area in my eyes, just by his work ethic, ” Santa Barbara coach JT Stone said. “His play, he just plays at a high level.”

Stone said Peus and Bigelow work on the post-pattern pass plays all the time in practice.

“We saw some things that DP’s defense did that gave us the opportunity to throw those passes,” he said. “When you work on it in practice and see it executed in the games — especially those two because they work at it — it’s fun to watch.”

It wasn’t fun for Dos Pueblos (2-6), which couldn’t keep pace with Santa Barbara’s offense and hurt itself with penalties and turnovers.

“We had five turnovers tonight and that’s not helping anybody. We’ve had some tough breaks, no doubt,” said DP coach Nate Mendoza. “I was really proud of the O, the way they responded after the opening drive by them. I like how our D started to play toward the end of the first half and second half. They were making some stops and the offense wasn’t doing enough to punch it in.”

After Bigelow’s 22-yard touchdown catch and Alea Hyatt’s PAT kick gave the Dons a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Dos Pueblos came right back and drove to the Santa Barbara 2. On first and goal, the Chargers coughed up the ball after a big hit by the Dons’ Jeremiah Nicholson. Linebacker Junior Garcia scooped up the ball and returned it to the 20.

Mason Bigelow blocks for receiver Ruben Velez.

Mason Bigelow blocks for receiver Ruben Velez.

Peus went to work and hit Tick Jellison for a 21-yard gain, Bigelow on passes of 8 and 11 yards, Blake Kelley for 4 yards and running back Sean Babcock for 21. Junior Garcia finished the drive with a 3-yard run for a 14-0 lead at the start of the second quarter.

This time DP answered back. Quarterback Kellen Roberts hit running back Manny Nwosu in the right flat and he turned up field and bolted 72 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-7.

Peus continued to riddle the DP defense with his passes. He hit Jellison over the middle for a 31-yard touchdown play, putting the Dons up 21-7 with 4:31 left in the second quarter.

The running of Babcock helped open up the passing game for Santa Barbara. The senior running back did a good job following his blockers and carrying DP tacklers. He rushed for 95 yards on 19 carries.

“He found some room tonight and did a great job,” said Peus.

“In practice, we were working on improvements in the line and my run tracks and we were able to get it done tonight,” said Babcock.

He also showed good patience in waiting for his blockers.

“Patience is something I’ve working on a lot with coach Ponch (Poncho Renteria) in practice, patience and staying low while a run. I was able to do some of that tonight,” said Babcock.

Stone was pleased with the play of the offensive line and the running of Babcock.

“They took ownership and so did Sean,” he said. “Sean had to improve on his run tracks this week. Everybody took it upon themselves to improve on their game and make the best of it.”

In the passing game, Peus completed 21 of 32 for 227 yards and four touchdowns

For Dos Pueblos Roberts was 15 of 31 for 177 yards for one touchdown.

The Santa Barbara defense pressured Roberts and Angel Velasquez intercepted a pass to set up the Dons’ fourth DP of the game midway through the third quarter.

Peus fired a 17-yard pass to 6-5 receiver Blake Kelley to put the the Dons up 28-7 at the 6:43 mark of the quarter.

After Santa Barbara forced DP to punt on its next possession, Peus and Bigelow connected on their 33-yard post-pattern for a 35-7 lead.

Nwosu scored on a 5-yard for the Chargers to complete the scoring. Nwosu had a productive night, rushing for 96 yards on 14 carries and catching five passes for 98 yards.

“We tried to put the ball in his hands quite a bit,” Mendoza said of Nwosu. “Unfortunately, we made some mental mistakes with our penalties and turnovers and that was the name of the game.”