October, the best sports month of the year as far as I’m concerned, is half-over. Let’s savor the October sports time we have left.
Arroyo Grande’s football team is savoring Garrett Owens’ deep kickoffs which keep putting opposing offenses at their own 20 to start. All five of Owens’ kickoffs against St. Joseph two weeks ago went into the end zone. Six of his seven kickoffs against Pioneer Valley wound up there.
The Eagles are 6-1, including 3-0 in the PAC 7 League. Owens, with his kicking and pass receiving, hasn’t exactly been just a small part of his team’s success.
One-hundred yard club: It’s a small one this week. Nipomo’s Justin Springer ran for 119 as his team beat Morro Bay 21-13.
Two-hundred yard club: Colton Madrigal of Paso Robles ran for 202 yards (he carried the ball 32 times) as Paso Robles beat St. Joseph 38-25.
Long distance award: Tanner Kahn wins it this week. The San Luis Obispo kicker booted a 46-yard field goal. He also kicked a 32-yarder in his team’s 19-12 loss to Righetti.
Nice one-two punch: Cameron Artis-Payne ran for 192 yards and Andy Bridge rushed for 92 as Hancock won its Northern Conference opener, 35-28, at Bakersfield.
Runaway win: Santa Ynez senior Jessica Meyers won at the Los Padres League Mid-Season Duals at Morro Bay, and she won by a lot. Meyers suffered a stress fracture when she was a freshman at another school, and she hadn’t run since before this year. She won by 42 seconds at Morro Bay.
Meanwhile, Nipomo’s girls and Cabrillo’s boys are atop the LPL standings after winning the team portion of the meet. Cabrillo’s Tyler Milstein won the boys race.
Now that’s fantastic grouping: Arroyo Grande’s first four runners placed two-through-five in the girls varsity race at the PAC 7 Mid-Season Meet Thursday. Hannah Stevens led that finish that put the Eagles over the top for the meet and at the top of the league standings.
They’ve clinched a spot in the post-season party already: Congratulations to the Santa Ynez and Arroyo Grande girls tennis teams. They are 8-0 in the Los Padres League and PAC 7 League respectively and have each already clinched a playoff berth.
Key match-ups: There are several key local match-ups in the week ahead:
Arroyo Grande at San Luis Obispo, 3 p.m. Tuesday: The Eagles are reigning PAC 7 champions after finally toppling usual league champion San Luis Obispo in 2010. The Eagles, undefeated in the PAC 7, have beaten the Tigers once this year. If they do it again, they should roll to the league championship.
Lompoc at Cabrillo, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday: The Lompoc Valley rivals tied 9-9 in sets in the first of their two season matches. Lompoc won by two games. The Braves are in third place in the LPL at 5-3 with four league matches left. Cabrillo is fourth at 4-4. The top four teams league teams earn automatic playoff spots.
Santa Ynez at Santa Maria (Minami Center), 3:30 p.m. Thursday: Santa Ynez leads the LPL at 8-0. The Saints are second at 6-1.
Cabrillo (5-3 LPL) at Templeton (6-2 LPL), 5:30 p.m. These two are among the four teams chasing league leader Santa Ynez. Templeton is in second place. Cabrillo is third.
Arroyo Grande (7-1 PAC 7 League) at San Luis Obispo (6-1 PAC 7): These two regularly duel for PAC 7 supremacy. San Luis Obispo won the championship last year. The Eagles lead the league this time.
Santa Ynez (1-2 Los Padres League) at Nipomo (2-1 LPL): Two teams in the thick of the playoff race will go at it at 7 p.m. Friday. Santa Ynez made the post-season last year. Nipomo was winless.
Righetti (2-1 PAC 7 League) at Arroyo Grande (3-0, PAC 7), 7 p.m. Friday. The Warriors will try to jumble up the league title race. The 2009 league champs defeated another team that had been unbeaten in the PAC 7 at the time, San Luis Obispo, last week.
Atascadero (1-1 PAC 7) at St. Joseph (0-3 PAC 7), 7 p.m. Friday. The Knights badly need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.