A sea of Orcutt Academy navy blue, gray and white chose to stay in their seats at Pioneer Valley High’s stadium after their football team was down 22-6…and went on to witness the biggest shakeup in the CIF Southern Section 8-man Division I football standings last Friday.

Their Spartans not only overcame the 16-point deficit, but thrashed the defending CIF champs Mojave 66-30. The victory not only moved the Spartans to No. 8 in the Max Preps CIF-SS DI standings, but gets the entire Orcutt Academy roster to headline this week’s Zo’s Gold Mines.

Quarterback Darin Miller broke loose on keeper runs regardless if it was on an inside sneak or designed bootleg run. Jared Sutton did double duty as a flashy outside running threat and ball-hawking defensive back. There was also Mitch McMann occupying the middle and clogging running lanes from his nose guard spot.

I can go on and on, but this comeback was a collective effort – and easily one of the biggest victories in the short history of Spartan football.

The win was so emotional that head coach Doug May walked into Monday’s Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table with a raspy voice, saying it was still recovering from Friday’s win. Miller also rolled into the round table with a smile and walked away as the male athlete of the week.

Other gold mines for this week:

St. Joseph football: The last time the Knights defeated a Ventura County opponent was when the current players were either in preschool or starting kindergarten. But that 11-year drought came to an abrupt end on Friday at Ventura College, as St. Joseph annihilated a massive St. Bonaventure team 42-12. Jayden Vargas wore down the Seraphs with 215 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Toa Taua, Lompoc: He only carried the ball three times against San Marcos – and scored all three times while totaling 169 yards in the 72-14 romp of the Royals.

Ryan Morgan, Lompoc: The three-sport athlete showed his athleticism on Friday at Huyck Stadium – scoring on a 58-yard run and collecting one tackle for a loss.

Blake Truhitte, Santa Maria: He combined for 322 total yards and four touchdowns as the Saints cruised to the 46-24 win over Cabrillo.

Robert Ruiz, Santa Maria: Ruiz added an additional workhorse to the Saints’ offense, totaling 125 yards and two touchdowns in the 22-point victory.

John Ramos, Santa Maria: Ramos was everywhere for the Saints. He caught three passes for 115 yards and scored two touchdowns, then returned a 59-yard interception and 51-yard punt.

J.D. Czajkowski, Cabrillo: Despite the loss, Czajkowski caught four passes for 101 yards and scored once against the Saints.

Kiernan Quinonez, Valley Christian Academy: The senior running back rumbled to 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns, as the Lions built a 42-6 first quarter lead before winning 61-22 over Frazier Mountain.

Josh Rowe, Cabrillo boys water polo: Despite the stunning home loss on Thursday to San Luis Obispo, Rowe fired six goals in the losing effort.

Sarah Fouratt, Righetti girls golf: Fouratt was the medalist in the first PAC 8 tournament of the season, shooting a 36 on Thursday.

Jacob Brown, Cabrillo boys cross country: At the Morro Bay Invitational, Brown placed the highest among the Northern Santa Barbara County runners with his time of 16:50.89.

Kiely West, Santa Ynez girls cross country: West had the highest mark among local female runners at the Morro Bay Invitational with her time of 20:09.92. 

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