Santa Barbara High’s defense came up with big plays to preserve a 21-14 victory over Ventura in a battle of former Channel League rivals on Friday night at Larrabee Stadium.

Armando Solano intercepted a tipped ball and returned it 10 yards to the Ventura 5 and quarterback Deacon Hill hit Moki Nacario on a 5-yard touchdown pass to give the Dons 19-7 lead and then passed to Jackson Gonzales for the two-point conversion.

Earlier in the quarter,  Dakota Hill intercepted a Ventura pass in the end zone and returned it 30 yards.

Ventura running back Jadon Cline took a direct snap and scored on a 2-yard run to make it 21-14 in the fourth quarter.

After a scoreless first quarter, Deacon Hill, a Wisconsin commit, connected with Jake Knecht on a 76-yard pass play for a touchdown. Ty Montgomery’s PAT gave the Dons a 7-0 lead.

Deacon Hill scored on a 5-yard quarterback draw for a 13-0 advantage before halftime. The PAT kick failed.

Ventura struck in the third quarter on a 66-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cade Ledesma to Zack Rodriguez. Rourke Rierman’s kick made it a 13-7 game.

Dakota Hill denied the Cougars from tying the game with his pick in the end zone.

After sweeping its former league foes in Ventura, Santa Barbara (2-0) plays Channel Islands in its first “home” game on Friday at San Marcos.

Noozhawk Sports Editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.