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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 8:05 pm | Fair 59º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

SBCC Football: Vaqueros to Travel to Third-Ranked Canyons

Saturday's matchup is billed as the toughest of the season for the Vaqueros.

The Santa Barbara City College football team will face its toughest test of the season on Saturday when the Vaqueros travel to third-ranked Canyons for a 7 p.m. game.

Because of scheduling quirks and the fact that Southern California revamped its conference alignments this season, Santa Barbara is making its third straight trek to Santa Clarita.

Canyons, which won the last two meetings 36-6 and 51-24, is 8-0 against the Vaqueros since restoring its football program in 1998.

“We’re going to play one of the best teams in California for the third year in a row on the road,” SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos said. “I’m not sure how that happened, but it is what it is. Canyons is as talented a team as I’ve ever seen. I know one thing, we’re going to go down there and get after it.”

SBCC receiver Ravonte Wilkerson had 153 all-purpose yards last week, including a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 14-10 season-opening loss to Hancock.

The Vaquero defense, led by Nick Vought and Nate Goldie, turned Hancock away on several second-half drives deep into SBCC territory. The Vaqueros had a chance to win in the closing seconds when they reached the 7-yard line, but couldn’t convert on three passes into the end zone.

Canyons moved from No. 4 in the state to No. 3 after dismantling No. 20 Antelope Valley 54-14 in its opener on the road. After giving up a 95-yard touchdown on the opening kick, the Cougars built a 21-7 halftime lead and then blew the game open with 26 third-quarter points.

Canyons piled up 501 yards of offense, including 270 on the ground. Hancock rushed for 345 yards against the Vaquero defense. Hayo Carpenter caught eight passes for the Cougars for 172 yards and two scores and also had a 47-yard punt return for a touchdown.

SBCC’s offense struggled last week with just eight first downs and 187 total yards. The Vaqueros were 2-for-15 on third-down conversions.

Dave Loveton is Santa Barbara City College‘s sports information specialist.

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