A disciplined and sound performance led the Santa Ynez football team to its first win in the Channel League on Friday night.

The Pirates got two touchdown runs from running back Cash Transeth, Jasper Kadlec returned a kickoff for a touchdown and scored on a 19-yard run and defensive end Tyler Germani recorded two sacks and spearheaded a strong defensive effort in a 28-10 victory over Santa Barbara High on chilly night at Pirate Field. 

The result leaves both teams at 1-1 in league play and 4-3 overall.

The Santa Ynez defense frustrated Santa Barbara quarterback Frankie Gamberdella with a good pass rush, solid coverage in the secondary and sure tackling. Gamberdella threw 41 times and completed 19 for 173 yards but none of his completions went for touchdowns.

“We’ve been playing defense like that for 31/2 years,” said Santa Ynez coach Josh McClurt. “We play inspired. We play for each other. I think the guys on the defensive side of the ball have really bought into ‘do you job.’ It doesn’t matter who gets the tackle, it does’t matter who gets the sack. If we all do our job, it’s all 11 people doing it and then we’re going be sucessful, and then we’re gong to make them have to beat us with something they don’t want to beat us with.”

Santa Barbara had opportunties to beat the Pirates with deep passes, but they were either out of reach or dropped.

“There were some things that were just not us tonight,” Santa Barbara coach JT Stone said. “The basic fundamental things that we do, we could not line up right, we had guys drop balls, miss assignments,  I can go on. But we just did not do anything correctly on offense tonight, 100 percent did not.”

Said McClurg: “Santa Barbara wants to make big plays. That’s their momentum. When they make a big play, they feed off it.”

The Pirates’ plans was to keep the passes under seven yards and don’t allow Gamberdella to beat them with is running.

“That’s the best quarterback I’ve seen around here in six years. He’s a stud. If he gets loose, that team gets fired up, so we just wanted him to beat us with 5-, 6- and 7-yard passes,” said McClurg.

On offense, Santa Ynez stayed true to its game plan, pounding the ball with Transeth (80 yards on 23 carries), while mixing in some runs by Kadlec (30 yards on 3 rushes and some passes to the big wide receiver (2 for 26 yards).

Kadlec’s biggest contribution, however, came as a kick returner. After Gamberdella broke free for a 35-yard scamper to tie the score at 7-7 in the first quarter, Kadlec took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 85 yards for a spectacular go-ahead score.

He probably covered about 130 yards on the return, as he first ran up the right side, cut across the field and turned up on the left side all the way to the end zone.

“We always give him a hard time when he reverses field like that,” McClurg said. “This time it paid off. It’s like in the NBA when you let an old-school center shoot a three pointer. If he makes it, you’re going to tell him great play. If he misses it,  your going to tell him don’t that again.”

Quincy Valle’s PAT gave the Pirates at 14-7 lead at the 1:30 mark of the opening quarter.  

Transeth scored the first TD for Santa Ynez on a 3-yard run. The Pirates were aided by two major penalties against the Dons — roughing the kicker on Juan Sanchez’s punt and a personal foul after holding Santa Ynez two yards short on a third and 5 from the 20.

Gamberdella tried to bring the Dons back, but the passing game wasn’t clicking on this night. 

“When you have a very good Santa Ynez football team playing good defense, you got to take advantage of the oppourntties and we didn’t do that.”

Santa Barbara put together a good drive in the final minutes of the second quarter. Gamberdella completed four passes totaling 28 yards and ran 9 yards to move the ball to the Santa Ynez 3. With time running out and no timeouts left, he spiked the ball and Ty Montgomery came on and kicked a 20-yard field goal to make a 14-10 game at halftime.

Neither offense could muster a sustained drive in the third quarter.

The Pirates finally put something together early in the fourth quarter after taking possession at the Santa Barbara 42.  Sophomore quarterback Bennett Redell completed a 12-yard pass to Kadlec on first down. On third and 9 from the 29, Transeth took a handoff on a counter play and  bolted 16 yards. He followed with a 13-yard blast off left tackle for a touchdown and 21-10 lead with 9:37 to go in the game.

The Santa Ynez defense forced three incomplete passes, and the Dons punted the ball away.

The Pirates got one first down via a Dons’ penalty, but Transeth was stopped for a 2-yard loss on a third and four. Sanchez  punted the ball to the Santa Barbara 17.

The Dons were again denied by the Santa Ynez defense and an illegal forward pass. They went for it on fourth and 19 from the 17 but Gamberdella’s pass was broken up Eddy Sanchez.

Transeth was dropped for a 2-yard loss on first down. On second down, Kadlec took the hand off and rumbled around right end for a 19-yard touchdown that clinched the rousing victory for the Pirates.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

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