What a way for Mario Robinson to break in as football coach at Carpinteria High. He starts off with a rivalry game against Santa Ynez.
The Warriors and Pirates meet for the 68th time on Friday at 7 p.m. at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium. Carpinteria leads the series 32-30-5, but Santa Ynez has the last four in a row.
In other action involving area teams, Bishop Diego hosts St. Bonaventure at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium in a clash powerhouse programs.
Santa Barbara plays at another former Channel League member, Ventura. Both teams are ranked, Santa Barbara is third in Division 8 and Ventura is 10th in Division 7.
San Marcos travels to Santa Maria, Dos Pueblos plays at Division 6 second-ranked Pacifica in Oxnard, Division 5 fourth-ranked Lompoc hosts Righetti, and Cabrillo faces Nipomo at San Luis Obispo High.
Santa Ynez will see a new-look Carpinteria attack under Robinson, who coached lower-level teams at Channel Islands, Hueneme and Pacifica in Oxnard before his arrival in Carpinteria. He’s gone to a spread offense, with 6-4 senior Will Collins running the show.
This will be Carpinteria’s first game. Santa Ynez played Nipomo last Friday and lost at the wire, 23-21, when it was stopped on two-point conversion try in the final seconds.
The Pirates have versatile players like Anthony Gills, Camron Prendergast and Brayden McCoy who could give Carpinteria’s defense trouble.
Jacob Macias is a standout player on both sides of the ball for the Warriors, who will unveil a spread offense under the director of 6-4 senior quarterback Will Collins.
One of the oldest rivalries in the area, the Carpinteria-Santa Ynez game features “The Warrior Spirit Never Dies and Pirate Pride” Award, presented to the winning team.
The concept of the award was created by former Carpinteria football star and youth coach Kevin Gahan. But its true origin came from the strong work and life ethics of his parents, Jim and Jean Gahan.
A perpetual trophy goes to the winning school and plaques are presented to the three outstanding players of the game.
While it came up short, Santa Ynez’s stirring comeback in the fourth quarter against Nipomo last week should give it momentum going into Carpinteria. The Pick: Carpinteria.
St. Bonaventure (1-0) at Bishop Diego (1-0), at SBCC, 7:30 p.m. (Radio: 1290AM) — Bishop running back Adrian Soracco was unable to play in last year’s 27-3 loss to the Seraphs because of an injury. After a10-carries, 170-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 51-6 opening win, he said he’s had this game circled on his calendar. Junior quarterback Buddy Melgoza performed well in his varsity debut and a reshuffled offensive line did a good job. The Cardinals will get a much tougher test against the Seraphs. Gavin Beerup, their 6-5 quarterback and a Wyoming commit, threw for two TDs and ran for two more in a 36-12 win over Bakersfield-Frontier. St. Bonaventure is coached by Tony Henney, whose Nordhoff teams used to give the Cardinals fits a few years ago. The Pick: Bishop Diego.
Santa Barbara High (1-0, No. 3 in Div. 8) at Ventura (1-0, No. 10 in Div. 7), 7 p.m. — The Dons will get a stiff test against a Ventura team that also scored 51 points last week. The Cougars went back to their roots in their 51-14 win against Royal, pounding the ball on the ground. Santa Barbara’s defensive front and linebackers will again need to play physical. The Dons will need a big game from Deacon Hill to keep the pressure on the Cougars. The Pick: Santa Barbara.
San Marcos (1-0) at Santa Maria (0-1), 7 p.m. — The Royals look to carry the momentum from the 36-14 Week Zero win over Santa Paula into Santa Maria. The Saints were overpowered, by a strong Righetti team, 42-7. Santa Maria will have to deal with the passing combination of Ben Partee and Josh Brown. They hooked up 11 times for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Henry Herrera gave San Marcos balance with 82 rushing yards. The Pick: San Marcos.
Dos Pueblos (0-1) at Pacifica (0-0, No. 2 in Div. 6), 7 p.m. — DP coach Doug Caines said before the season it was going to take a few games before the Chargers find their rhythm. They better bring their track shoes because Pacifica is loaded with speed. The Pick: Pacifica.
Righetti (1-0) at Lompoc (1-0, No. 4 in Div. 5), 7 p.m. — This figures to be a fierce, physical battle between teams who have high expectations this season. Righetti, a CIF Central Section finalist last year, has lots of offensive weapons, but will be facing a Lompoc team whose strength is defense. The Braves will go with freshman quarterback Cavin Ross in place of the injured senior Cameron Iribarren. Coach Andrew Jones is high on Ross, who directed the team to a pair of touchdowns in last week’s 24-7 win over Simi Valley. Expect the Braves to run a lot behind senior tackle and Arizona State commit Jacob Nunez and get receiver and Wyoming commit Ryan Morgan more involved in the attack. The Pick: Lompoc.
Cabrillo (0-1) at Nipomo (1-0), at SLO High, 7 p.m. — Nipomo’s experience at quarterback and a strong defense will make it tough for the Conquistadores. The Pick: Nipomo.