Nipomo’s new-look stadium finally made its debut last Friday night.

After construction delays forced Nipomo to move its first two home games to other San Luis Obispo County locations, the Titans played Arroyo Grande on their new grass field.

The Eagles won 21-6.

A new stadium scoreboard is in place on the north end of the field. Wording on the right side of the scoreboard reads, “Jeff McNeil, Nipomo High School graduating class of 2010.”

McNeil is having a banner season for Major League Baseball’s New York Mets. Nipomo athletic director Russ Edwards said McNeil donated money toward part of the cost of the new scoreboard.

“He made it clear that he wanted to donate,” said Edwards.

The scoreboard lights were bright and easily readable, but there was a glitch. There were no lights under the words that indicated what yard line the ball was on.

Nipomo’s dirt track was untouched as of Friday. Edwards said construction on an all-weather track will begin in October.

“It will be ready for next track season, for sure,” he said.

Edwards said he and other school officials eventually want to move the home bleachers from the east side of the stadium to the west side.

“We want to put the home bleachers on the same side as the press box,” Edwards said.

As of now there is no press box at Nipomo. In fact, there were only a few rows of bleachers on the west side of the stadium.

“There has been a delay on bleacher construction throughout the state because of the DSA — the Division of the State Architect,” Edwards said.

Friday night, several small rows of existing bleachers were placed near the scoreboard and on the west side to supplement the sizeable amount of bleachers on the east side of the stadium.

Arroyo Grande will play a home game on the Nipomo field Friday night. Construction to renovate the Eagles’ Doug Hitchen Stadium was incomplete. The Eagles had hoped to open their home slate at their home stadium on Friday, Oct. 11 against Paso Robles, their Mountain League opener. Arroyo Grande doesn't have its bye until the final week of the regular season, meaning the Eagles play 10 games in 10 weeks.

College football: Hancock falls to Ventura 35-14

VENTURA — Ventura College pulled away with two late touchdowns and defeated Hancock College 35-14 in a non-league game at Ventura Saturday night.

The Pirates moved to 2-1. The Bulldogs are 1-1.

Maurice Smith pulled the Bulldogs within 21-14 on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter then the Bulldogs got the ball in Pirates territory after a short punt in the fourth.

Hancock’s drive stalled and the Bulldogs missed a short field goal try. The Pirates, using a quick tempo attack, moved briskly down the field and Juan Gaytan scored on a 1-yard run.

A few minutes later, Pirates quarterback Nelson Yuen suckered the Bulldogs on a fake handoff and raced 65 yards for a score.

Gavin Grondahl hit Cajon Lakes for a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter for the first Hancock score.

Hancock missed two short field goal tries and Ventura responded with a touchdown after both.

After the first miss, Chris Reeves threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Vaughn in the second quarter for the first score of the game.

Yuen hit DeShaun Staples for a 19-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0. The Bulldogs could not get closer than seven points after that.

Chuck Wick capped a 78-yard drive for the Pirates with a two-yard touchdown run near the end of the third quarter to make it 21-7.

Hancock will play a non-league game at Culver City-based West Los Angeles College on Saturday.

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.