It was a battle early on – as Lompoc High head football coach Andrew Jones expected with Lompoc only up by four at halftime to open the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.
But in the end, the Braves outscored a battle tested Camarillo team 28-7 the rest of the way, leading to the 42-17 victory at Huyck Stadium on Friday to start the Division 3 postseason. The win places Lompoc (11-0) at Lake Forest El Toro next Friday in the quarterfinals.
Jones had a strange feeling that this game was going to be a competitive one with an opponent that, while entering Huyck at 5-5, could’ve very easily been at least 9-1 with all the close losses the Scorpions had. And sure enough, Camarillo showed its mettle early on by bringing the cornerbacks on blitzes and keeping both Shemar Savage and Toa Taua out of the end zone for one whole half.
Lompoc took a 14-10 lead at halftime before Savage provided the Braves with the more comfortable 21-10 lead on his 35-yard touchdown reception. On the next defensive series, the Scorpions took the fourth-and-two gamble by trying a run to the weakside. But, LHS inside linebacker Jelani Henderson blew through the open gap and tussled down Jesse Valenzuela – forcing the turnover on downs.
From there, Xavier Nix capped the drive with his 1-yard sneak score, expanding the lead to 28-10.
“Obviously, we expect to win. We went on to play our game,” Jones said. “Early on, we were real good on first down. But then they made a couple of adjustments. At halftime, we changed a couple of things and executed from there.”
Lompoc had success with running the ball early on with a player who sat out the playoffs last year due to an injury: Dallas Canley. The senior scored the first two touchdowns for the Braves during the first half on runs of nine and 27 yards. The two-way starter Canley was relieved to be out there on the field this time for the Braves’ playoff run.
“It felt good. Our offensive line was pushing those guys back. They created big holes and the blocking by the receivers was also good – so I was just capitalizing off that by bouncing outside,” Canley said.
Lompoc easily snuffed out the screen pass against the Scorpions, as three to four Braves were right in position to stuff Valenzuela. Ruben Cortez and Savage added the final two touchdowns for the Braves, with the latter torching the Scorps on a 30-yard touchdown catch.
While Jones and the Braves found ways to adjust to Camarillo, Jones admits that the Scorpions have the look of a future CIF contender once again.
“Camarillo has a special team. They’re a team that I probably wouldn’t see down the road,” Jones said. “As long as they don’t bounce around schools, they can be special.”
RIVERSIDE — Cabrillo's boys cross country team advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 4 Finals with a ninth-place finish at the CIF prelims on Saturday.
Sophomore Ozzie Espinoza led the Conquistadores by finishing 21st with a time of 16 minutes, 14.6 seconds. Eddie Trejo, Nathan Schatz and Jacob Brown finished 46, 47th and 48th, respectively, for the Conqs.
On Friday, neither the Santa Maria nor the Lompoc boys teams advanced out of the CIF Preliminaries at the Riverside City Cross Country Course.
Santa Maria finished 13th out of 21 teams in the first heat one of Boys Division 1. Lompoc finished 20th out of 23 squads in heat one of Boys Division 3.
Cesar Ayuso led Santa Maria with a 36th-place finish for team scoring purposes. Ayuso finished in 15 minutes, 44.5 seconds. Scoring teammates following were Yair Torres (63rd place), John Barajas (65th), Jose Lepe (73rd) and Alexis Garcia (74th). Places listed are for team scoring.
Greg Wuitschick led Lompoc with a 42nd-place finish in 16:28.1. Scoring teammates following were Eduardo Guerrero (108th), Edgar Ortiz (125th), Alexis Ramirez (127th) and Alan Campfield (144th). Places listed are for team scoring.
Long Peach Poly won heat one of Boys Division 1 with 67 points. South Torrance won heat one of Boys Division 3 with 112 points. The Arroyo Grande, Cabrillo and St. Joseph girls and boys will race in Saturday prelims. Mackenzie Webb of Orcutt Academy will race in Girls Division 5 as an individual.
Men's basketball (Thursday night)
FREMONT — Five Hancock College players scored in double figures as the Bulldogs (2-2) routed College of Marin (0-2) 113-78 in the first round at host Ohlone College.
Shane Carney scored a season-high 23 points for the Bulldogs. Javae Lampkin tossed in a career-high 22. D.J. Searcy scored a season-high 16 points, freshman guard Glenn Jordan added 11 points and four assists, and Spirit Ricks amassed 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Carney added seven assists and four rebounds to go with his 23 points.
Hancock sophomore transfer Kevin Baines had eight points, seven rebounds and three assists. Freshman Diego Lucas, who came to Hancock from Italy, had four rebounds and five assists.