The Lompoc Braves came out fast and strong on both sides of the ball, holding Nipomo’s offense to 55 yards rushing and four yards passing in the first half, beating the Titans 42-7 at Huyck Stadium on Friday.
“We have a lot of returning guys on defense. We came out and executed really well,” Lompoc head coach Andrew Jones said. “We showed them multiple (defenses), tried to mix it up and keep them honest with both our running game but also the quick game on the outside.”
On the opening drive of the game, Lompoc (2-0) faced a fourth-and-short and put the ball in Toa Taua's hands to convert the first down to keep the drive alive.
“If one of the best running backs in California can’t give me a yard then there is something wrong,” Jones said of the fourth-down conversion. “I have a lot of confidence in him.”
The 62-yard drive culminated in a 9-yard touchdown run from Johnny Manzo, the first of two scores for Manzo.
Manzo’s second score came early in the second. Picking up a Titans punt on the bounce at the Braves 28-yard line, cutting across the field and took it 72 yard for the score up the right side, giving Lompoc a 28-0 lead over Nipomo.
“He had a good read there,” Jones said about Manzo’s return. "We had our return setup and our guys did job blocking.”
With less than three minutes left in the opening quarter, Lompoc quarterback Xavier Nix connected with Leondre Coleman for a 19-yard touchdown reception. The touchdown was Coleman’s only reception.
“Nix is efficient, if he can throw the short game and keep all those guys honest, it’s going to tough to put eight or nine guys in the box to stop Taua, (Dallas) Canley and (Ruben) Cortez," Jones said.
Following the Coleman score, Ryan Morgan intercepted Nipomo’s (0-2) Brayden Groshart that set up Lompoc third score by running back Taua. Leaping over a Nipomo defender at the goal line, Taua found the end zone to end the first half on a 12-yard carry. Taua finished with 132 yards on 11 carries.
Nipomo's struggles on offense continued in the second quarter. Opening the quarter with a delay-of-game after miscommunication before the snap, the Titans were force to call a timeout on the second attempt at the line to prevent a second delay of game. Unable to convert a first down on the drive the Titans were forced to punt.
Shemar Savage scored two touchdowns on back-to-back possessions for the Braves in the second. With 7 minutes to go in the half, Savage took a handoff 20 yards up the right sideline and dove for the touchdown after getting tripped up at the 5-yard line.
Taking the pass from Nix, Savage shook off multiple tackles for a 17-yard touchdown reception for his second touchdown. He finished the game with two catches for 33 yards and one 20-yard run. The Braves lead 42-0 with 3 minutes until halftime.
Nipomo didn’t pick its first new set of downs until late in the second quarter when Lompoc’s defense jumped offside on a fourth-and-two. The Nipomo first down set up the Titans’ first score on the next play from scrimmage.
With 38 seconds left before half, Groshart gave the handoff to the big fullback Elyaz Pua, who broke loose up the middle for a 48-yard score. The play was the first offensive touchdown given up by Lompoc this season. The Braves went into halftime leading the Titans 42-7.
The Titan offense finished with 86 yards rushing and 8 yards passing. Pua led the Titans in rushing with 55 yards on 4 touches. Lompoc had 240 yards of rushing from nine different rushers.
Lompoc’s defense received back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the third quarter for a loss of 30 yards. The Braves had 10 penalties for a total of 101 yards.
The Braves remain at home next, hosting the San Marcos Royals (1-1) at Huyck Stadium next Friday. Nipomo returns home to face the Bishop Diego Cardinals then.
Dos Pueblos 65, Cabrillo 0
The Chargers, coached by former Lompoc High great Nate Mendoza, led 44-0 at halftime and never let up, dropping the Conquistadores to 0-2 on the season.
Dos Pueblos scored 14 and seven points in the third and fourth quarter, respectively, to seal the non-league win.
Cabrillo has only beaten DPHS four times since the 1999 season. No other stats were made available.
Santa Ynez 63, Carpinteria 0
Santa Ynez quarterback Dustin Gregg went 13 for 16 for 290 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Cash Transeth rushed for three touchdowns for Santa Ynez and Gabe Prendergast had three receptions for 90 yards and two carries for 80 yards and a score.
Prendergast also had an interception return for a touchdown.
Jasper Kadlec had five catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
The Pirates held Carpinteria to 17 yards of offense.