Santa Maria's football team got off to a good start last week.

But now the Saints have to answer another question: Can they keep it going?

Santa Maria went to Morro Bay and beat the Pirates 21-7 to kick off this unique spring season of football.

Saturday night, the Saints will again hit the road to San Luis Obispo County, where they'll face Nipomo, another Ocean League opponent. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

As good as Santa Maria's start was, Nipomo's was equally disappointing.

In an Ocean League game at Mission Prep, the Titan offense sputtered against a quick, aggressive Royal defense. The Royals scored two defensive touchdowns, one on an interception return by David Luera and another on a fumble return by Conner Lopez, winning 24-10. 

Santa Maria also allowed a defensive touchdown last week, with Morro Bay's only score coming on an interception return.

Still, the Saints had an impressive start to the season. 

Senior quarterback Murad Alamari did enough passing and running to lead the team to a win. He completed 11-of-17 passes for 124 yards and two scores, with the one interception. Both of his touchdowns went to junior Nick Martinez, who caught five passes for 64 yards. Senior Alex Rodriguez was also one of Alamari's top receivers, catching five passes for 41 yards. Alamari did fumble twice and Morro Bay recovered one of those loose balls. 

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Martinez also caught a two-point conversion. 

As a team, the Saints ran 29 times for 79 yards against Morro Bay. 

Senior Joannes Gonzalez had eight carries for 35 yards and junior Jacob Nava finished with 34 yards on 14 carries. The Saints are without speedy running back Sammy Herrera, who has a wrist injury. 

Gonzalez also had an interception last week and returned it for 38 yards. Junior David Placencia was solid in the secondary as well, breaking up a pair of passes while causing a fumble. 

The Titans started Nate Reese at quarterback and were not in sync on offense, using a new spread scheme. Reese, a standout athlete, used his legs to set up pass plays but had some trouble linking up with receivers Justin McKee and Declan Coles. Nick Milton can also play some quarterback and receiver for the Titans. 

McKee did have an interception for the Nipomo defense.

Santa Maria will also have to game plan for Nipomo senior Keyshawn Pu'a. The linebacker/running back had 12 tackles in the loss to Mission Prep. Pu'a can also eat up a lot of carries at running back for the Titans. Nipomo junior Vinny Hernandez is a handful on the defensive line. He had nine tackles last week as the Nipomo defense seemed to handle the Mission Prep offense fairly well, holding the Royals to 16 yards passing and 125 yards rushing last Saturday.

The Saints are scheduled to host Atascadero in an Ocean League game on April 2 at 6 p.m. The Titans are set to host Morro Bay at 7 p.m. that day.

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