Leondre Coleman ran here, there and everywhere on Friday night, amassing a career-high 241 yards on 27 carries in Lompoc High’s 42-21 football win over Dos Pueblos at Valley Stadium.
The Braves (5-2, 2-0) spoiled DP’s homecoming and took over sole possession of first place in the Channel League. The Chargers are 4-3 and 1-1.
Lompoc piled up 453 rushing yards and six touchdowns. The Braves ran the ball 59 times for a 7.7-yard average and were 0-for-3 on passes. Junior quarterback Cameron Iribarren ran 17 times for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
“We play hard-nosed football, that’s what we’re all about,” said Coleman, a 6-2, 200-pound junior who also played linebacker on defense. “I’m definitely tired. We came in here expecting a dogfight.
“We wore them down with our offensive line. They were phenomenal. If I didn’t have that line blocking like they did, I never would have gotten 200 yards.”
Lompoc drove 80 yards on its second possession and 50 yards on its fourth drive to score a pair of touchdowns. Oscar Tenario hit pay dirt on a 1-yard plunge in the first quarter and Iribarren ran it in from five yards out to make it 14-0 with 8:09 to go before halftime.
The Chargers cut it to 14-7 by covering 60 yards in five plays on their last drive of the second quarter. David Leon threw a short pass to Eric Lopez and Lopez broke four tackles on a 39-yard gain to the Braves’ 20-yard line. Three plays later, Leon scored the first of his two rushing TDs on a 4-yard burst with lineman Angel Flores and Roberto Flores clearing the path.
“It was 21-21 going into the fourth,” said DP coach Doug Caines. “We just didn’t survive the game of cat-and-mouse. We caught the cat, then it slipped out the side door. It’s just one of those things where we didn’t fit well enough on defense.
“Give credit to Lompoc, that’s a great football team with great size and great athleticism. They run downhill hard. For the most part, we did well, then we just could not get off the field on third down.”
Lopez ran 15 times for 66 yards. The Braves won the first-down battle 25-15 and enjoyed a 453-263 advantage in total yards.
Dos Pueblos got a 35-yard kickoff return from Conner Lee to open the second half. The Chargers tied the game at 14 on a 13-play, 52-yard march, capped by a 2-yard run by Leon on a QB keeper.
The visitors, ranked No. 8 in CIF Div. 3, regained the upper hand with an 80-yard drive that culminated in a 9-yard TD run by Coleman. The Chargers struck back with a 61-yard sprint by Udy Loza that tied it again at 21 with 1:51 to go in the third. Loza. a 5-6 junior, disappeared into the line, then bounced out to the left side and turned on the jets to beat the last three defenders.
The Braves struck right back, running seven straight times on an 80-yard march. Coleman got free for a 42-yard gain on the second play and Lee saved a TD by tripping him from behind at the DP 35. Five plays later, Iribarren ran it in from 11 yards to give the Braves a 28-21 lead. Lompoc needed just 2:43 to score that touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter.
The Braves forced DP to punt and proceeded to drive 60 yards in seven plays in just 2:59. Drew Williams, who rushed eight times for 63 yards, scored on a 14-run by following the blocking of his line and fullback Jesus Corrales to extend the lead to 14 points, 35-21.
“It was a well-fought game and Coach Caines does a great job,” said Lompoc coach Andrew Jones. “Our guys were smelling blood in the second half. I told them, ‘Hey you give me one stop and the game’s over.’ We got that stop and we were off to the races.
“Cam ran well and Leondre ran well but it starts up front with our offensive line. Our tight end Cullin Ranney was going both ways, playing mike backer and tight end. He had a great night blocking.”
With 3:49 remaining, DP threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-14 from its 26-yard line. The Braves needed just five plays to find the end zone again with Iribarren scoring his third TD on a 4-yard run with 1:50 to play.
The Chargers will play at Valley Stadium again on Friday in the Battle of Goleta against San Marcos at 7 p.m. The Braves will take on Santa Barbara on Saturday night at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium.