Editor's note: Vote throughout the week and a winner will be announced next week. You can vote once per 24 hours at each of our three sites, the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record as well as the Santa Ynez Valley News. The totals from all three sits will be combined to determine the winner.
This was a fun, fun week of football, man.
Lots of good, meaningful games and it came at just the right time.
There hasn't been a ton of drama this season, but things really are heating up.
Let's start with the week's big game: Santa Ynez at Lompoc. In that one, there wasn't a lot of offense. So most of the jaw-dropping stats, which I use to find good candidates for the SMT Player of the Week, are on the defensive side.
I'll start with a guy who produced on both ends: Jimmy Gardner. The senior defensive mastermind caught a big 10-yard TD pass and also intercepted SY QB Dusty Gregg, something that had only happened twice before this game, to help the Braves to a 17-7 win.
But Santa Ynez's defensive effort was tremendous as well. Look no further than Travis Vreeland to see that: The senior two-way standout made 25 (!!!) tackles in that game, with 20 of those being assists.
Now, I haven't seen the film, but I'm gonna guess that's pretty accurate. Vreeland is all over the field and Lompoc ran the ball a ton, with the Braves running 54 times for 201 yards.
Lompoc's defense limited Santa Ynez's high-octane offense to just 117 yards passing and 31 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Next, I'll move to the Santa Maria Valley, where we have five candidates this week.
At Righetti there are two up: Brandon Giddings, the QB, and his receiver Jalen Davis.
Giddings had a gutsy performance, taking a beating while trying to lead Righetti back from a 24-0 deficit to AG at the half. Giddings threw for 218 yards and 2 TDs against a good AG defense.
Jalen Davis did have a lot to do with that. Davis was constantly getting open deep and hauled in six passes for 154 yards and a score.
Mathew Garcia had his big game for Pioneer Valley, lighting up the Cabrillo defense for 268 yards and 3 TDs.
I have Blake Truhitte up here every week, man! He's a beast. One of the best individual seasons I can remember. He's a lock for 300 yards of passing and rushing each week.
Against Morro Bay (I know, not the toughest opponent), Truhitte thew for 198 yards and two scores while rushing for 97 yards and three more TDs.
On the season, Truhitte has thrown 16 TDs (against just 7 INTs) with 12 more rushing TDs and over 1,000 yards.
Then we have one of the more fun performances of the week: Adam Aldana at VCA. I know it's 8-man and the small division, but Aldana had an Athlete of the Week type game: He rushed for 325 yards on only 25 carries for 3 TDs.
He's just a sophomore! He also had 12 tackles on defense!
Ok. Go vote!
Brandon Giddings, Righetti JR QB: 16 for 26, 218 passing yards, 2 TDs.
Jalen Davis, Righetti SR WR: 6 catches, 154 yards, TD; 4 tackles, pass breakup.
Blake Truhitte, Santa Maria SR QB: 10 for 17 198 yards, 2 TDs; 12 carries, 97 yards, 3 TDs; 3 tackles, pass breakup; 38 kick return yards; 7 punts, 220 yards.
Mathew Garcia, Pioneer Valley SR QB: 268 passing yards, 3 TDs.
Travis Vreeland, Santa Ynez SR TE-LB: 4 catches, 56 yards; 25 tackles (20 assisted/5 solo), TFL.
Jimmy Gardner, Lompoc SR DB-TE: 10-yard TD catch; 4 tackles, INT.
Adam Aldana, VCA SO RB: 25 carries, 325 yards, 3 TDs; 12 total tackles (4 solo/8 assist); 25 kick return yards;