The Lompoc Braves closed out the regular season with a 63-0 victory over their Lompoc Valley rival Cabrillo Conquistadores in the annual Big Game Friday night at Lompoc’s Huyck Stadium.
The Braves (7-3, 4-1 Channel League) now await word on their first round CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoff opponent.
For the Conquistadores (0-10, 0-5), it was the end of a second straight winless season, their losing streak now reaching 24 in a row as they've also lost 11 straight to the Braves.
“It’s always great to beat the Conqs,” said Lompoc head coach Andrew Jones. “We played hard tonight, played physical, and we are getting healthy at the right time. Leo (Leondre Coleman) and Oscar (Tenorio) were able to get a couple series on defense and looked good. Having them back on offense next week will be a huge boost.”
“We just didn’t come out of the gate strong enough,” said Cabrillo head coach AJ Pateras. “Andrew had his players off to a fast start. We’re a young team and little things can add up and work against you.”
Lompoc quarterback Cavin Ross led a devastating attack.
Ross threw five touchdown passes – four in the first half – as the Braves rolled to a 56-0 halftime lead.
Ross was 12-for-18 passing for 297 yards, hitting his fifth TD pass midway through the third quarter before getting the rest of the night off.
It wasn't always pretty, but the Knights got it done.
Sheldon Canley led the Braves’ rushing attack, gaining 103 yards on 13 carries.
Canley picked up 96 of those yards and scored three touchdowns in the first half. Canley carried the ball once in the second half before being replaced.
Meanwhile, the Braves’ defense put up a wall.
Cabrillo was held to 57 total yards and three first downs – two of them coming on penalties.
Starting quarterback Mykul Guillory was 2-for-4 for 12 yards before being replaced by Zack-Ramos-Botello.
Botello went 7-for-21 for 36 yards with two interceptions.
The Conqs also lost two fumbles and the Braves’ defense stifled every attack.
Cabrillo’s strongest performance came from kick returner Hunter Barthel.
Barthel picked up 153 yards on seven kickoff returns. He didn’t get a shot at any punt returns since Lompoc was never forced to punt.
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Cabrillo’s Pateras got things started with a trick play.
Lompoc was set to receive the opening kickoff when Pateras called for an onside kick.
It didn’t work as the ball rolled out of bounds after going only four yards.
On Lompoc’s first play, Ross went deep, throwing the ball to Ryan Morgan who had raced past the defense, caught the perfectly placed ball at the five yard line and raced into the end zone with a 41-yard touchdown reception.
Aldo Anguiano’s point after kick made it 7-0 just eight seconds into the game.
"The onside kick gave us great field position," said Jones. We treated it like a turnover — sudden change and went for the deep shot."
“Coach told us in the locker room before the game that we’d try to get the ball to me on a deep pass on our first play and we’d see how it goes,” said Morgan. “I was happy to get the opportunity. It kind of set the tone for the whole game.”
After forcing a Cabrillo punt, Lompoc began its next drive at the Cabrillo 36.
Two Canley runs made the score 14-0. Canley pounded the middle for 12 yards and then followed that but getting around the corner on the left side and was gone for a 24-yard touchdown.
That was at the 8:54 mark.
Seven seconds later, Lompoc had the ball again after Anthony Arias recovered a Cabrillo fumble at the Cabrillo eight yard line.
The Conqs held but fumbled the ball away on their next possession.
This time, the Braves cashed in with Canley going off left tackle for an 8-yard TD run on the next play.
That gave the Braves a 21-0 lead with 6:12 to go in the quarter.
Lompoc scored two more first quarter touchdowns – on a 3-yard pass to Adam Lazaro at 1:32 and a 50-yard pass to Christian Duarte-Tenorio with 51 seconds left in the quarter – for a 35-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Gavin Townes scored on a 4-yard run, Cailin Daniels on a 59-yard pass and Canley on a 1-yard run to go into halftime with a 56-0 lead.
The second half was played with a running clock and when Canley scored on a 39-yard run down the left side at 7:09 of the third quarter, Jones gave his starters the rest of the night off.
“It’s been a good year but it’s not over yet,” said Morgan. “Now we have to prepare for the CIF playoffs. We’re going to make a run.”