After heartbreak comes opportunity for the Santa Ynez football team.
The Pirates have a chance to show resilience and resolve after last week's brutal loss at Ventura Buena.
Santa Ynez suffered a 25-19 defeat to Buena last week in a Pacific View League game as the Bulldogs scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass with just seconds remaining.
Now Santa Ynez (5-2, 1-1 Pacific View League) hosts Ventura, one of the better teams in the league, Friday night. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Buena's Zach Carter threw a touchdown pass to Colin Guenther with about 20 seconds left to beat the Pirates last week.
"One of the toughest losses of my career," Santa Ynez coach Josh McClurg said afterwards.
Santa Ynez went ahead 19-18 on a 25-yard field goal from senior Leonel Valencia. But Buena answered with the touchdown on fourth and 4 to beat the Pirates and hand them their first league defeat.
Santa Ynez junior Luke Gildred completed 12 of 22 passes for 166 yards and an interception last week. He led the Santa Ynez rushing attack with 97 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown.
It was one of the better performances from the Santa Ynez ground game as the Pirates ran the ball 38 times for 204 yards. Isaac Moran, another junior, added 54 yards on eight carries.
Tyler Gregg led Santa Ynez receivers with 66 yards on three catches, including a 52-yard completion. Daulton Beard had two grabs for 40 yards and Canyon McClurg added three catches for 31 yards.
Mikey Gills led the Santa Ynez defense with 11 total tackles. Brandon Welby had 11 assisted tackles. Moran added 10 tackles and Tanner Padfield had eight. Padfield and Isaiah Castro each had a sack against Buena.
Gregg also had an interception as Canyon McClurg and Moran each broke up a pass.
Valencia went 4 for 4 on field attempts with a long of 36.
Santa Ynez now turns its attention to Ventura, which is 4-2 on the season. The Cougars beat Cabrillo 49-0 on Friday. Santa Ynez' scheduled game against Cabrillo was canceled and Santa Ynez received a forfeit win.
Ventura has out-scored its opponents 212-125 this season. Santa Ynez has out-scored its opposition 155-111.
Sophomore Joey Reynoso leads the Ventura offense at quarterback. He has completed 65 of 103 passes for 759 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. He's thrown three interceptions.
Esteban DeSantiago had 13 carries for 213 yards and two touchdowns against Cabrillo last week. He leads the team with 383 yards rushing on 47 carries. He's scored three rushing touchdowns.
Tyler Woodworth, a senior, leads Ventura with 459 yards receiving on 38 catches with eight touchdowns.
The Cougars are 2-0 in league after a 41-14 win over San Marcos and the win over Cabrillo.
According to CalPreps, which uses a computer ranking system that will be used to determine playoff divisions this year, Ventura is ranked No. 132 in the CIF Southern Section.
Santa Ynez is directly ahead of the Cougars at No. 131.
Santa Ynez should be heavily favored in its final two league games against Channel Islands (1-6) and San Marcos (3-4).