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Santa Maria High School's Francisco Ayala-Barajas kicks the ball ahead of Cabrillo High School's Stephen Dalton on Thursday in the 1-0 Saints win in Lompoc. 

Boy, that is one scramble near the top.

Not at the very top of the Los Padres League boys soccer standings. Santa Ynez, at 8-1-1 with two league games left to play, has already clinched the league championship with 25 points.

NEAR the top of the league, it’s a different story.

With one league game left, Santa Maria could wind up as high as second place or as low as fifth. A fifth-place finish would put the Saints out of the running for an automatic playoff bid. Those go to the top four league finishers.

For now, Santa Maria is in second place in the seven-team league with 18 points. After that, in descending order, it is Nipomo with 17 points, Morro Bay with 16 and Cabrillo with 14.

The Conquistadores desperately need to start putting the ball into the other team’s goal again. They haven’t scored since a 4-3 loss to Nipomo left them 4-1-0 in league play. Now they are 4-4-2 with two league games left. That’s over 470 minutes of game time.

Santa Maria will wrap up a playoff spot Thursday, regardless of what everyone else does next Tuesday, if it wins at Lompoc.

Cabrillo’s two remaining league games are home ones against Nipomo Tuesday and Morro Bay Thursday. Draws in both, which would be worth a point each in the league stanings, would do the Conqs no good.

Nipomo wraps up its regular season at Santa Ynez Thursday. The teams played to a draw in the first round. Morro Bay plays at Lompoc Tuesday before its Thursday game at Cabrillo.

Is a two-way tie for second place that would help create a THREE-way tie for FOURTH possible? Yes. Santa Maria and Cabrillo will tie for second place, and Nipomo, Morro Bay and Lompoc will tie for fourth if certain scenarios play out.

That’s a long shot but, with the way things in this league have been going this year, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Stay tuned. It could be a wild last week of the regular season.

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Loved the (lack of) drama: Some games feature a lot of pushing, shoving, fouling and yellow cards - with perhaps a red card.

That wasn’t the case in the Morro Bay-Santa Maria girls soccer game last Thursday night, which the Saints won 2-0 on their own pitch for their first league win this season.

There were no cards issued. In fact, there weren’t many fouls. I don’t like a lot of extracurricular activity during games. Thanks to the players on both teams for not being involved in any.

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I guess everyone considering on-line dating should heed the Manti Te’o cautionary tale.

Television journalist Michael Wilbon was chided on the radio recently for saying he was tired of the Te’o hoax story. Well, I don’t blame anyone for growing tired of the story.

If I was assigned to follow and report the story I would continue following and reporting the story. But I would have long since grown tired of it.