The mistakes were just too much to overcome as the Lompoc Braves fell to the Glendora Tartans 49-17 Friday night at Citrus College’s football stadium in a CIF Southern Section Division 5 first round playoff game.
The Braves (7-4, 4-1), the second-place team in the Channel League, turned the ball over six times with two early miscues turning a tight game into a big Glendora lead.
The Tartans (10-1, 4-1), the second-place team in the Palomares League, were missing their leading rusher, Xzavier Ford (over 1,300 yards with 16 touchdowns), and their starting kicker, Jake Peralta, who was perfect on the season on point after attempts.
But football is a game of next man up and the Tartans’ next men got up — way up.
Sophomore Braydon Brus scored three times; two of his touchdowns coming on defense. His third was on a 36-yard run that put the game out of reach.
Early on, the game was fairly even.
Glendora quarterback Jacob Gonzalez led a methodical game-opening 7-play, 80 yard drive down field, capping it off with a touchdown pass to AJ Salgado.
Sophomore kicker Sammy Ghandour, making his first start, made the extra point for a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Back came the Braves who marched 65 yards on nine plays, ending with a Cavin Ross touchdown pass to Adam Lazaro.
Aldo Anguiano’s point after kick tied the game at 7-all with 2:38 left in the quarter.
On Glendora’s next possession, Brus, running the wildcat formation, broke through for a 64-yard touchdown, only to see the play called back because of a Glendora holding penalty.
The Tartans followed that with a delay of game penalty and were facing a first-and-21 from their own 25.
Glendora got the penalty yards back and more when Gonzalez hit Cade Marshman with a 44-yard pass down to the Lompoc 31.
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On the next play, Gonzalez found Matt Gonzales (no relation) open in the end zone with 32 seconds left in the first.
Lompoc’s Deville “Joker” Dickerson blocked the point after kick, the first of two Dickerson blocked in the game, but Glendora still led 13-7.
And that’s when Lompoc’s real troubles began.
The Braves were deep in their own territory, facing a third-and-23, when Brus intercepted a Ross pass and scored to give Glendora a 20-7 lead.
On the Braves' next play, they fumbled the ball away, setting Glendora up at Lompoc’s 18.
Two runs by Noah Acuna took care of those yards, giving the Tartans a 27-7 lead and with 10:05 left in the half, Glendora was firmly in control.
Lompoc scored on a 25-yard Anguiano field goal with 4-minutes left in the half, cutting Glendora’s lead to 27-10 but the Braves would get no closer.
Ghandour hit his own 25-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to get those three points back.
Late in the third quarter, Lompoc tried a trick play but the ball ended up on the ground.
Brus picked it up and ran 10-yards into the end zone for the scoop and score and a 36-10 lead.
Just before the third quarter ended, the Braves’ Leondre Coleman capped a 12-play, 68-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 36-17 with 29-seconds left in the quarter.
In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Brus was again in the wildcat formation. He took the direct snap and raced right through the line for a 36-yard touchdown. No penalties this time.
It was Gonzalez to Gonzales again late in the game the quarterback found his wide receiver open again for a 12-yard touchdown to close out the scoring.