Friday night's Los Padres League showdown between Santa Ynez and St. Joseph had just about everything.

There was the bizarre first half where the Pirates' star quarterback threw five interceptions after throwing just three all season. Though, St. Joseph turned those just into 14 points. 

There was also the last-second finish. Santa Ynez, though, was unable to get off a last-second play and St. Joseph held on for a 20-14 win and a playoff berth.

The Pirates, though they are 8-2 and 2-2 in the LPL, will now have to wait and see if there are any at-large berths available in Division 10. 

Again. 

Santa Ynez has now gone 23-7 in the last three years and doesn't have a playoff berth to show for it. That could change Sunday, or that trend could continue when the Division 10 bracket is finalized and released.

St. Joseph, meanwhile, is in the Division 5 bracket for sure. 

But not all was good for St. Joseph.

Senior Mason Biely, a starter at defensive back and receiver, was injured with about 4 minutes left in the first half. Biely went down to the turf on a defensive play and was down on the Jay Will Stadium field for approximately 15 minutes until he was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to Marian Regional Medical Center in an ambulance.

After the game, St. Joseph coach Jim Chvala said Biely was stable. Reports during the game stated Biely suffered a head injury and experienced seizures while on the field.

"We just got an update on Mason, everything's good. He's moving around, he's talking," Chvala said. "We're sure it's a concussion; I can't make that judgment. Everything we've heard is that he's doing fine."

The Knights had to earn the win.

They led 14-0 at half time, with Trevor Cole, Justin Wong, Tim Miller (twice) and Zach Miller all coming away with interceptions off passes thrown by Dustin Gregg.

Five first-half interceptions on its own is strange enough. But Gregg entered Friday's game with 35 touchdown passes and just three interceptions on the season.

Santa Ynez was down, but the Pirates received the second-half kickoff and marched 44 yards to paydirt, cashing in on a 1-yard touchdown run by Cash Transeth with 7:30 left in the third quarter.

But Wong, a St. Joseph senior, was ready to put his team on his back in the second half on senior night.

Wong caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dino Maldonado on a 3rd-and-21 play. Wong also had a 32-yard touchdown catch in the first half. 

But Brock Marcois' point-after-try was blocked, meaning the Knights' lead stayed at 20-7.

The Pirates weren't out of it, though they were down 13 after three quarters. They marched down the field, mainly on the legs of Transeth, with some timely runs from Gregg. 

Transeth ended the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run where it looked like he was stopped at the St. Joseph 6, but kept the piling moving into the end zone. Marcus Ray's kick cut St. Joseph's lead to 20-14 with 9:43 to play. 

Teams exchanged three-and-outs before St. Joseph put together a drive. The Knights used Jayden Vargas to drive the team down inside the Santa Ynez 30. 

Facing a 4th-and-8 from the Santa Ynez 25, St. Joseph elected to go for it, with Maldonado throwing a pass near the end zone to Marc Rubalcaba. Santa Ynez defensive back Josh Patrick broke up the pass, resulting in a turnover-on-downs.

With less than 90 seconds left, Gregg attempted to lead the Pirates in a march down field. He hit Travis Vreeland for a 7-yard pass and a first down. Jasper Kadlec caught an 11-yard pass on 4th-and-9, moving the Pirates to midfield.

With no timeouts, facing a 1st-and-10 from the St. Joseph 44 and 20 seconds left, Gregg threw an out to Gabe Prendergast, who was tackled in bounds near the 38 with 15 seconds left. 

The Pirates never got another play off.

They set and appeared ready to snap the ball but the head official held the play up, ruling the ball wasn't in play to be snapped.

The final seconds ticked off and Santa Ynez now waits to find out its postseason fate for the third year in a row. 

"It's been a long time since I've seen it take 15 seconds in the last play of the game to put the ball in to play when the ball was already right there ready for the center," Santa Ynez coach Josh McClurg said. "I don't want to question their call. I'm just saying that it's been a long time since I've seen that."

Wong had the best game of his senior season and, perhaps, his career. He had six grabs for 114 yards and two touchdowns to go along with an interception and handful of tackles and another two passes defensed. 

Maldonado completed 20 of 30 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Jayden Vargas, another St. Joseph senior, had 22 carries for 118 yards. 

Friday night, McClurg was still holding out hope that his team could land an at-large bid for the playoffs.

"We've been keeping track of all 36 divisional teams, win-loss record and place in their league," McClurg said. "There's actually four games tonight that could decide; there could be two at-large bids. I can guarantee you this: If there's one at-large bid we will get it.

"We may be traveling and we may play Pacifica, or a one or two seed, but the season isn't over yet in our minds. There's a somber mood but that's because they just lost one of the most heart-breaking games of their lives. My guys played with emotion and that's a testament to these guys and they bought into each other all year."

Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jbaileysmsports

0
0
1
0
0

Load comments