It was an intriguing week of high school football, despite the fact that multiple high-profile teams took Friday night off to prepare for league play.
There's still plenty of individual performances worth highlighting in the Player of the Week contest.
Santa Ynez, Santa Maria and Pioneer Valley each have two candidates this week. Santa Ynez beat Santa Maria 21-0, but the Saints were impressively resilient, able to move the ball down the field on offense while the defense was able to provide some resistance, at least against the Pirates' rushing attack.
Aidan Scott and Daulton Beard had their way with the Santa Maria secondary while Saints Josue Elena and Malachai Jordan were effective against the Pirate defense.
Pioneer Valley got its first win of the season in a 28-27 victory against Dos Palos. The Panthers have Lucan Brafman and Anthony Arias up for the award this week. Brafman came through with a big kick in the win while Arias was the Panthers' top rusher and scored twice.
Crescencio Perez scored three times in Orcutt Academy's lop-sided win over Alpaugh while Malakai Langley again made an impact on special teams for St. Joseph.
Whos the Player of the Week?
Aidan Scott, Santa Ynez TE/DE
Scott had a hand in helping the Pirates score in the 21-0 win over Santa Maria last week, hauling in five catches for 110 yards and a score. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior also helped the Pirates pitch a shutout. Scott had five tackles and 3.5 tackles-for-loss for the Pirates. Scott has 14 catches for 302 yards and two scores in three games this year. He also has 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Daulton Beard, Santa Ynez WR
Beard is one of the most promising players in the area. He proved that again Friday night, dominating the Santa Maria secondary. He's too tall, too fast. He had seven catches for 161 yards and a score and could've had much more. He dropped a pass early in the game that could've gone for a long touchdown. Still, he racked up 161 yards receiving and it looked like he barely broke a sweat.
Beard, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound junior has 19 catches for 434 yards and three scores in three games. The Pirates will open Mountain League play against Mission Prep Friday night, their toughest opponent of the young season.
Malachai Jordan, Santa Maria WR
While Beard and Scott were lighting up the Santa Maria secondary, junior receiver Malachai Jordan was showing that he's quite the weapon too. Jordan had six catches for 90 yards and was constantly working to get open against a tough Santa Ynez secondary led by Nolan Oslin. Jordan has the potential to be one of the top receivers in the Ocean League by the end of the season.
Josue Elena, Santa Maria QB
Elena had his best game of the season. Santa Maria's short, quick passing game gave the Pirate defense some trouble. The Saints just couldn't find the end zone, turning the ball over twice in the red zone. Elena was 21 of 30 for 196 yards with one interception late in the game.
Anthony Arias, Pioneer Valley RB
Arias led the Panthers' rushing attack in their 28-27 win over Dos Palos. The senior not only rushed for a team-best 96 yards in the game, he also scored two rushing touchdowns to help the Panthers get their first win of the season.
Lucan Brafman, Pioneer Valley K
Brafman is nominated after having, perhaps, the most gutsy performance last week. Brafman stepped up to the ball and knocked through the crucial extra point in last week's win over Dos Palos. This came after he missed an earlier PAT. It took courage and cool for Brafman to knock through the winning point in the final minutes of the fourth quarter last week.
Crescensio Perez, Orcutt Academy RB/DB
Perez had 13 carries for 143 yards and three touchdowns in the 8-man Spartans' 56-8 win over Alpaugh last weekend. The senior also had three tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and a two-point conversion in the win.
Malakai Langley, St. Joseph RB/DB/KR
Langley has been impactful this year in the return game for the Knights. He had a crucial kick return touchdown in the win over Palos Verdes and then provided another game-changing return against Newbury Park last week. The Knights were down 24-14 in the third quarter against the Panthers, and Langley took the kick to the house for a touchdown to give St. Joseph some late life. The Knights couldn't overcome the Panthers' vaunted passing attack, falling 31-21.