The Santa Ynez Pirates (2-2) celebrated Wall of Honor Night Friday before their non-league home football game against the San Luis Obispo Tigers.
They just couldn’t make it a double celebration, falling to the Tigers 20-10.
Coming in, both teams had similar seasons — losing their Week Zero opener and then bouncing back for two straight wins before heading to their bye week.
The Tigers (3-1) prevailed, mostly behind several key third down plays that keep seemingly failing drives alive.
After forcing a Pirates’ punt on the game’s opening possession, the Tigers had great field position at the Santa Ynez 47 yard line.
SLO Quarterback Emilio Corona missed on two straight passing attempts — overthrowing the first and having an easy completion dropped.
Facing their first long third down — third and 10 — Corona overthrew his receiver but a flag came out and Santa Ynez was called for pass interference.
With new life, Corona found a wide open Matthew Shetler crossing over the middle and hit him with a 23-yard strike.
Two plays later, Anthony Arroyo blasted through a hole in the middle of the line for a 4-yard touchdown, completing an 8-play touchdown drive.
John Krill point after was good and San Luis Obispo was on top 7-0 with 7:48 left in the first quarter.
Santa Ynez, behind sophomore quarterback Bennett Redell, was forced to punt on its next possession but SLO, after taking over at the Santa Ynez 42, couldn’t capitalize on another short field.
They did capitalize on the Pirates’ next possession when the Tigers’ Max Soltero intercepted a Redell pass, the first of two interceptions Redell threw in the game.
This time, the Tigers pounced, going on a 14-play drive that finished off the first quarter and ran on into the second.
Arroyo picked up 12-yards on a run around the right end on the drive’s third play.
Corona later hit a wide open Jeremy Fitzsimmons over the middle for a 24-yard gain
The drive stalled at the Santa Ynez 26 and on came kicker Krill who calmly nailed a 43-yard field goal for a 10-0 SLO lead with 11:43 left in the half.
After trading punts, the Prates offense came to life.
It didn’t take long for Santa Ynez to march 57 yards — needing only five plays including a 17-yard pass to a crossing Jasper Kadlec — before Redell handed off to Cash Transeth who blasted through a hole on the left side and was gone on a 36-yard touchdown run.
Quincy Valle’s point after cut the SLO lead to 10-7 with 5:33 left in the half.
San Luis Obispo came out strong to open the second half, marching 67 yards on 9 plays to move ahead 17-7.
Once again, the Pirates had the Tigers bottled up until, facing a third-and-28, Corona hit No. 28 Shetler with a 28-yard strike to give SLO a first down.
One a second-and-16 four plays later, Corona hit Soltero in the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown and a 17-7 lead with 9:13 left in the third quarter.
Eddie Sanchez hit a 26-yard field goal with 3:49 left in the third to cut the Tigers’ lead to 17-10.
After Alex Lammers intercepted Corona on the Tigers’ next series, the home crowd came to life.
But the Tigers forced the Pirates to punt and Juan Sanchez was brilliant – hitting a perfect shot that his teammates downed at the one.
Quickly forcing a San Luis Obispo punt, the Pirates tried again to even the score only to be stopped at the SLO 29.
The time, Sanchez hit a perfect coffin corner kick that bounced out at the one.
This time, the Tigers clawed their way out of the hole.
On a quarterback keeper, Corona found a hole on the left side and raced for 29 yards.
On the next play, Arroyo blasted through the left side and was nearly gone. He did gain 34-yards but a touchdown-saving tackle kept him from reaching the end zone.
When the drive stalled at the Santa Ynez 19, Krill came on and drilled a 36-yard field goal to put the game on ice with 3:12 left in the fourth quarter.
Transeth led the Pirates, gaining 126 yards with one touchdown on 13 carries.
Redell was 10-for-23 for 74 yards with two interceptions.
The game started 15 minutes late because the Tigers got caught in rush hour traffic heading siouth on the 101 Freeway.