Toa Taua fuels the aggression of Lompoc High’s offense. Jelani Henderson is the top tone setter for the Braves’ defense.
On special teams, it’s the guy who headlines this week’s Zo’s Gold Mines: Johnny Manzo.
Listed as a slot receiver and not even a guy who had any catches against Pioneer Valley, Manzo showed his wheels and vision on two punt returns – returning both of them for more than 40 yards in the 49-10 trouncing of the Panthers.
He’s also emerging as one of the go-to options when the Braves run a jet sweep running play.
“When Manzo gets the ball in space…good luck,” said his head coach Andrew Jones.
On a team built on speed, power and depth, Manzo may perhaps be the fastest Brave. He’s also not one to gloat about his accomplishments or gripe about not getting enough touches. He’s shown to be the quintessential team player – but one who is explosive when called upon.
Other gold mines for this week:
Toa Taua, Lompoc football: He went from coughing up the football during Lompoc’s first series to accumulating 138 rushing yards – in the first half against Pioneer Valley.
The Lompoc defense: From nose tackle Juan De Luna, to senior linebacker Jelani Henderson all the way to Ruben Cortez – who returned one fumble for a touchdown – the Braves brought the house against the Panthers, including grabbing two sacks inside PV’s 10-yard line.
Dustin Gregg, Santa Ynez football: He’s already putting up uncanny numbers in his debut as the starting quarterback, but his seven touchdown passes shattered his previous record of six earlier this season.
Gabe Prendergast, Santa Ynez football: He’s another Pirate who joined the record books, by catching a school record four touchdown passes.
Travis Vreeland, Santa Ynez football: Normally known for his linebacker play, Vreeland caught four balls for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Brock Marcois, St. Joseph football: If he breaks his own record of 11 made PATs, then it means the Knights scored 84 points. Marcois was flawless in all 11 attempts during the 77-10 rout of Cabrillo.
Dino Maldonado, St. Joseph football: Like his freshman teammate Marcois, Maldonado got into the SJHS football record books with his six touchdown passes – all of them in the first half.
Jayden Vargas, St. Joseph football: He engineered the ground work for St. Joseph with his 212 rushing yards.
Ben Dixon, Cabrillo football: Despite the 67-point loss, Dixon finished with five catches for 102 yards.
Darin Miller, Orcutt Academy football: He’s part of the 100 club, after surpassing 100 career touchdowns in the 57-10 rout of the Academy of Careers and Exploration.
Damien Robles, Righetti football: He continues to be the Warriors’ horse after netting 145 yards in the 27-7 victory over San Luis Obispo.
Paso Robles football: The Bearcats have not only endured a coaching change, but a rough non-league schedule with losses to state champs Sierra Canyon and McClymonds plus a loss to Inland Empire monster San Bernardino Cajon. But Paso Robles delivered the biggest upset of the week in its 28-7 shocker at Arroyo Grande last Friday – which now has the PAC 5 on high notice.
Sierra Hohimer, Cabrillo girls tennis: First time this season anyone has taken home the athlete of the week honor twice at the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table. Hohimer, CHS’s No. 1 tennis player on the singles’ side, did just that.
Orcutt Academy girls volleyball: Not only did the smaller Spartans dominate the net against the much taller Lompoc High on Thursday, but got the rare regular season sweep of the Braves.
Fox Sports: The station’s 'Prep Zone' will broadcast the Oct. 20 showdown between Lompoc and Santa Ynez, adding to the already growing media frenzy for this Los Padres League heavyweight battle.