Righetti's Elias Martinez brought his team to the brink of their first win during last week's game against Nipomo.

Down 14-7 and with Nipomo driving toward the end zone, Martinez intercepted a Nate Reese pass. Moments later, on the ensuing drive, Martinez caught a pass from quarterback Braden Claborn near his own sideline and slipped past a few Nipomo defenders, reaching the end zone on a 57-yard touchdown to make the score 14-13.

As a thick fog descended on the Righetti field, the Warriors missed the extra point kick, keeping Nipomo's lead intact by a single point.

Righetti was then forced to go for an onside kick, which Nipomo promptly recovered and returned for a touchdown en route to a 21-13 win. 

Martinez did his part, but the Warriors came up a bit short. 

This week, Martinez and the Righetti faithful did not come up short in the Player of the Week contest. 

Voter turnout was among the highest of the season, with over 6,000 votes cast from Tuesday through Friday afternoon, when the polls closed at 2 p.m.

Martinez received 2,253 total votes, or 37% of the total votes cast.

He needed just about all of those. 

Lompoc sophomore Nelson Maldonado was right on Martinez's heels. Maldonado received 1,969 votes, or 33% of the total votes cast.

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Maldonado earned his nomination after hauling in three touchdown catches in a 44-38 loss to Santa Barbara. Maldonado finished with seven catches for 68 yards and the three touchdowns.

Nipomo's Gabe Evans finished third in the voting with 597 total votes, or just about 10%. Evans was key in the Titans' win over Righetti. He ran 20 times for 85 yards and a pair of touchdowns while also making nine tackles on defense.

St. Joseph's Chris Miller wasn't too far behind with 532 votes, good for fourth place. Miller caught a 20-yard touchdown on fourth down to give the Knights a 21-20 lead in a game they eventually lost 26-21 to Paso Robles. Miller also had a 50-yard kick return on the Knights' final possession, setting them up to go in for the go-ahead touchdown, though the drive eventually ended with an end zone interception.

Santa Maria standout David Placencia finished in fifth place with 496 total votes. He had 14 tackles and a blocked punt on defense and has also played quarterback.

Arroyo Grande running back Makai Puga was sixth. Puga had 164 yards and three scores on only 10 carries in the Eagles' 34-7 rout of Pioneer Valley.

The Player of the Week award has been dominated by Santa Maria Valley schools, particularly Righetti. Three Warriors have won the award this fall.

Santa Maria's Jacob Nava won the award after the first week. Righetti's Claborn, Pioneer Valley's Adan Rubalcava, VCA's Jacob Sanders, Santa Ynez' Luke Gildred and Righetti's Ryan Boivin then won the award in successive weeks.

Gildred is the only player outside of the Santa Maria Valley to take the honor this season, winning after throwing five touchdowns against Lompoc on Sept. 17.  


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