Santa Maria's football team got what it wanted out of this one.
Out-manned Calabasas Viewpoint had no answer for Santa Maria quarterback Blake Truhitte and the Saints rolled to a 49-14 non-league win on their Senior Night at Santa Maria's Ralph Baldiviez Stadium Friday night.
Truhitte ran for four scores and threw for another as Santa Maria ran their record to 5-4, 2-0 in their last tuneup before a second straight showdown with Nipomo for the Northern League title. Nipomo won last year.
This year, the big one will take place at 7 p.m. next Friday night at Nipomo.
"We're excited for (the rematch)," said Truhitte, who had 182 yards rushing and 152 yards passing at halftime.
The Titans, along with Mission Prep, were the Northern League playoff representatives last year, though the Royals finished in a three-way tie for second with Santa Maria and Morro Bay. Mission Prep dropped back down to 8-man football this year because of a numbers shortage.
Santa Maria coach Dan Ellington and athletic director Brian Wallace have both said that the Northern League will again have two playoff representatives this year, so it appears Nipomo and Santa Maria will both go.
The Saints will advance to the playoffs for the first time since the early 2000's. Nipomo (4-5, 2-0) trounced Morro Bay 52-0 Friday night to set up the title showdown with the Saints. The Titans have won four straight.
Viewpoint, which showed up with 17 players suited up, is 2-6. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
"We jumped out on 'em early, which is what we wanted to do, and we were able to get our starters out of the game early," said Santa Maria coach Dan Ellington. The Saints didn't suffer any catastrophic injuries Friday night.
Truhitte threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Gerardo Zul on Santa Maria's first possession, and the Saints scored touchdowns on their first three drives.
Viewpoint was close briefly, at 15-7 after Luke Boehm hit Evan Pearlman for a 66-yard touchdown pass on what looked like a broken Santa Maria coverage. It was all Saints after that until Jack Watanabe scored on a 3-yard run for the Patriots against the Saints' reserves in the last minute.
After the first Viewpoint touchdown, the Saints gapped the Patriots with a string of scores.
Truhitte sprinted 62 yards down the right side to put the Saints ahead 22-7 late in the first quarter. Frank Lopez broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and spun into the end zone for a 1-yard scoring run early in the second.
Truhitte broke loose for a 23-yard score later in the quarter. Robert Ruiz went in from the 1 for the last score of the first half. The halftime score was 42-7.
Johnathan Ramos, who ran in a two-point conversion after the second Santa Maria touchdown, made a one-handed interception on the first play of the second half. Truhitte scored from 29 yards out on the next play.
Truhitte finished with 211 yards rushing. He didn't throw a pass in the second half. Ramos wound up with 78 yards in receptions, and Adrian Ayala caught four Truhitte passes for a total of 37 yards.
Defensive end Gabriel Bravo helped the Santa Maria defense keep the Viewpoint offense from doing much other than the two touchdowns.
Santa Maria was hit with 14 accepted penalties in a come-from-behind (well the Saints were behind for several seconds in the second half anyway) homecoming win over Morro Bay last week.
The Saints were penalized six times, with two of those penalties coming on kickoffs that went out-of-bounds, Friday night. They were not penalized in the second half.
"We had a better week of practice," said Truhitte. "We didn't want to look too far ahead. The guys were more locked in tonight."
There was a scare near the end of halftime. As the Santa Maria band was leaving the field after a halftime performance, a band member suddenly went to the ground and was motionless for a time.
Trainers from both teams, and a local Army staff medic, tended to the band member for several minutes, and the band member was responsive before being loaded on to an ambulance to be transported to a local hospital.
VCA clinches CVL title
Valley Christian Academy defeated Cuyama Valley 62-26 to claim the Coast Valley League title on Friday.
The game was tied 14-all after the first quarter, but the Lions went up 40-20 at halftime and led 54-26 after three for a running clock in the fourth.
Adam Aldana had 18 carries for 198 yards and Ethan McCoy had eight carries for 95 yards while Trenton Lane added 83 yards on 14 carries.
McCoy also had a 10-yard TD pass to Matt Holihan. Aldana scored five touchdowns and Lane had three.
McCoy had 12 tackles to lead the VCA defense.