Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 12:18 pm | Partly Cloudy 62º

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

SBCC Finds Way to Win in Double Overtime

SBCC running back Emmanuel Nwosu avoids a defender Click to view larger
SBCC running back Emmanuel Nwosu avoids a defender (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

Just two weeks after one of the great comeback wins in SBCC football history, the Vaqueros were at it again on Saturday at La Playa Stadium.

Santa Barbara erased a 40-21 third-quarter deficit at Hancock on Oct. 15 by scoring 22 unanswered points for a 43-40 victory. On Saturday, they trailed Citrus 28-17 after three quarters, then rallied to win 46-44 in double overtime.

“I told the guys after the game that I have to take back what I said about the Hancock game being the greatest comeback I’ve ever been a part of,” said 10th-year head coach Craig Moropoulos. “This one was better. The way it happened and all the adversity we’ve had to face and making a long drive in the last 2½ minutes to tie the game. That was exciting.”

The Vaqueros (6-2, 2-1 American Pacific League) lost their second quarterback, Noah Holle, to injury last week, so they had to go with third-stringer Timothy Milliken and fourth-stringer Joseph Osegueda. Demetrius Vinson, their top running back in the previous four games, limped off the field late in the first quarter and all-state tight end Jacob Ortale was injured in the second quarter.

“It’s all about stepping up,” said Moropoulos. We always talk about how injuries are going to happen -- I didn’t know we’d have this many at the same time – and you have to have the next man step up. When Jake Ortale went down, Jon Licea (normally a wide receiver) stepped in and did a great job.”

There were lots of stars for the Vaqueros, led by running back Cedric Cooper who gained a career-high 168 yards on 30 carries and scored the game-winning TD on the final play of the second OT, an 8-yard run over the left side. Cooper ran out of the Wildcat formation on numerous occasions and even played some quarterback.

“One of our mottos is we never give up,” said Cooper, a sophomore from Seattle, Wash., who led the Vaqueros in rushing in 2014. “It doesn’t matter who’s playing, it’s always ‘Next Man Up.’ We expect good things and poise from whoever’s playing.

“We’re behind Tim and we expect big things from him. Give credit to our offensive line, they opened holes all day. They start everything for us on every play.”

Milliken came up huge in the second half, completing 14-of-18 passes for 162 yards and two TDs. The one interception he threw was fumbled back to the Vaqueros on the return and SBCC recovered to keep a 73-yard touchdown drive alive that tied the game at 31 with 24 seconds to play.

SBCC receiver Jason Matthew Sharsh drags his toes for a sideline catch Click to view larger
SBCC receiver Jason Matthew Sharsh drags his toes for a sideline catch (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

For the game, Milliken was 19-26 for 206 yards and two TDs. Jason-Matthew Sharsh caught eight balls for 82 yards and a touchdown. Elijah Cunningham grabbed six for 92 yards and a score.

Freshman linebacker Dallas Martin made a season-high 16 tackles and Mykhael Sanford had 12. David Blevins, a sophomore linebacker from Dos Pueblos High, blocked the PAT try in the second OT, picked it up at the 15 and returned it 85 yards for SBCC’s second defensive 2-point PAT of the year.

It was the Vaqueros’ first meeting with Citrus (4-4, 1-2) since the 2002 season. The Owls lead the all-time series 4-3.

The Vaqueros trailed Citrus 28-17 after three quarters, then outscored the Owls 14-3 to forge a 31-31 tie and force overtime. Manny Nwosu scored on a 4-yard run for the Vaqueros’ first lead of the day (38-31) before Citrus tied it on a 7-yard run by Devin Floyd.

Floyd rushed for a game-high 219 yards on 32 carries for Citrus. The Vaqueros won the first-down battle (31-24) with a season-high 31 and the Owls took the yardage duel, 500 to 450.

Citrus started first in the second overtime from the Vaqueros’ 25-yard line. A pair of penalties on SBCC moved the ball to the 4 and Brian Meyette tossed his fourth TD pass to Henry Tarin, putting the visitors up 44-38.

Blevins blocked the PAT try but the Owls were called for a false start, moving the ball to the 8. On Carlos Benites’ second try, Blevins stormed in from the left side and blocked it again, then picked it up and raced 85 yards for a 2-point defensive PAT that cut the deficit to 44-40.

On third-and-13 from the Citrus 28, Milliken hit Sharsh on a down-and-out to the right for 14 yards and a first down. Nwosu ran for six yards and Cooper capped off the dramatic win with an 8-yard touchdown run, touching off a wild celebration in the end zone.

“That was a Power play,” said Cooper. “We’re leaning on the offensive line and we trust them. We called Power and it worked.”

The Vaqueros’ only first-half TD was an 11-yard run by Cunningham on a reverse that tied it at 7 with 13:06 to go in the second quarter. Patrick Nasiatka kicked a 33-yard field goal and Citrus led 14-10 at intermission.

The Owls scored on the first possession of the second half, then the Vaqueros went 78 yards in 12 plays, capped by a 24-yard Milliken to Cunningham connection that made it 21-17.

Citrus drove 66 yards for a 3-yard TD from Meyette to Dexter Hunt. Meyette completed 14-of-22 for 221 yards and four touchdowns.

The Vaqueros responded with an 8-play, 66-yard march, capped by Nwosu’s 7-yard run that ended with him dragging two defenders into the end zone. That cut the deficit to 28-24.

Citrus went 58 yards and got a 37-yard field goal from Benites to go up by seven, 31-24 with 9:17 to play. The Vaqueros turned it over on fourth down at the Citrus 37, then the Owls drove to the SBCC 27 and went for it on fourth-and-1. Sanford and Evan Defer stuffed a run by Floyd and the Vaqueros took over on their 27 with 2:34 to play.

Milliken was 7-9 for 57 yards on the game-tying drive with the one blip, the interception that was fumbled at the Vaquero 43 and recovered at their 39. Millilken completed two passes to Cunningham for 12 and 18 yards and four to Sharsh for 13, 11, 4, and 3 yards. Sharsh made a diving catch in the end zone on the 3-yard, game-tying TD with 24 seconds to play.

“Going 21 of 28 passing with your third- and fourth-string quarterbacks? That’s big,” said Moropoulos. “We call Manny the ‘Nigerian Truck’ because he’s such a physical runner. I was happy to see us make 67 percent on third downs (10-15) and go 6-6 on scores in the red zone.”

The Vaqueros travel to Woodland Hills on Saturday to take on L.A. Pierce (1-7, 0-3) at 6 p.m.

SBCC receiver Elijah Cunningham makes an end zone grab Click to view larger
SBCC receiver Elijah Cunningham makes an end zone grab (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >