Kellen Roberts threw a trio of touchdown passes on Friday night and the Dos Pueblos High defense was solid and swarming in a 23-14 football win over Camarillo at Scott O’Leary Stadium.
It was the third straight win for the Chargers (3-1). The Scorpions, who captured the CIF Northern Division title last year, fell to 1-3.
Roberts, a three-year starter at quarterback, completed 29-of-42 passes for 237 yards, three TDs and one interception. His scoring tosses were 47 yards to Michael Elbert in the second quarter, 6 yards to Cyrus Wallace in the third and 27 yards to Blake Erwin in the fourth quarter.
Wallace, a 6-3 junior receiver, caught eight passes for 68 yards and Irvin Miguel grabbed eight for 38 yards. Erwin caught seven more for 44 yards.
“The offense wasn’t rolling like we usually do and the defense picked us up,” said Roberts. “You have to hand it to the O-line, I didn’t get sacked once except for a time I held it too long. The receivers made big plays all night.”
The Charger defense, led by Marcellous Gossett, held the Scorpions to 21 rushing yards on 31 attempts. Gossett racked up nine tackles, four sacks and two quarterback hurries. Justin Padilla added six tackles and Erick Nisich added five.
“It feels amazing to beat the defending CIF champs, especially with the way things went the last two years for us,” said Gossett.
“Our defense was phenomenal,” said head coach Nate Mendoza. “Coach (Doug) Caines does a great job every week with his game plan and the guys executed it very well.”
The Chargers snapped a 14-all tie with an impressive 11-play, 87-yard march to open the fourth quarter. Roberts was 7-7 for 60 yards on the go-ahead drive, capped by a 27-yard toss to Erwin that made it 21-14 with 8:11 to play.
Camarillo punted on its next two possessions and the first one only traveled 10 yards, setting the Chargers up at the Scorpions’ 30. They turned it over on downs, however, and following an exchange of punts, Camarillo was down to its last gasp on its own 4 with 2:25 to play.
Jake Moss threw two incomplete passes and he was nearly sacked on third down when he got a pass off from the end zone. He was called for intentional grounding and the Chargers got a safety for a 23-14 lead.
With Camarillo out of timeouts, the Chargers ran out the final two minutes on kneeldowns.
“We battled through adversity with the backward-pass fumble and the muffed punt,” Mendoza stated. “The kids battled through and I’m very proud of them.
“Kellen did an excellent job, he’s a three-year starter for a reason. He doesn’t freak out and he shows great poise out there.”
Dos Pueblos struck first, driving 80 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead with 5:47 to go in the second quarter. Roberts hit a wide-open Elbert over the middle and he sprinted untouched into the end zone for the 47-yard score.
Camarillo recovered a muffed punt at the DP 40 and nine plays later, Moss hit Aaron Lamb for the 12-yard score that made it 7-7 at the half.
The Chargers covered 55 yards and regained the lead 14-7 on a 6-yard diving catch in the end zone by Wallace.
The Scorpions struck right back on the next play as Moss hit Lamb on a short screen and he sprinted 89 yards for the tying TD. Moss completed 13-of-29 passes for 220 yards and two TDs.
Dos Pueblos will be home again on Friday, hosting San Luis Obispo at 7 p.m.