Mistakes came too early and too often for the Nipomo High School football team Friday night against Santa Ynez. The Titans squandered a handful of scoring chances at crucial times, and the Pirates capitalized on the way 28-7 win in Nipomo.
The Real McCoy
Santa Ynez quarterback Michael McCoy and wide receiver Gabe Pendergast combined to torch the Nipomo defense throughout the game. McCoy was just 4-of-14 passing, but two long passes to Pendergast — including a 28-yard touchdown near the end of the third quarter — put a stop to any chance at a Titan comeback.
Pendergast finished the game with three catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot-3 junior also scored on a 25-yard double reverse for the Pirates’ final score of the night.
McCoy’s highlight of the night also came on a 25-yard run, displaying his power-over-finese style, when he plowed Nipomo defensive back Gage Wynn in the second quarter that set up a touchdown to put the Pirates up 14-0 at halftime.
The list of Nipomo miscues was long. It started in the first quarter when a bad snap on a punt attempt near the end zone resulted in a touchdown by Santa Ynez’s Nick Tipolt after Nipomo’s Luis Diego Riquelme tried to pick it up and run.
At the end of the half, Nipomo had a chance to score. But a couple of drops by wide receivers and a failed fourth down conversion ended a chance to get on the board before the break.
Nipomo then opened the second half with a smash-mouth drive that quickly moved the ball into Pirates territory. Much of the drive featured Isaac Bausley, who played well and finished with 16 carries for 137 yards. But four penalties in a row pushed the Titans back, and a missed field goal ended the drive. Santa Ynez then took the ensuing drive down the field for a touchdown to make it 28-0.
“I told them before the game, the team that makes the least amount of mistakes is going to win. And we make about ... 50 of them,” Nipomo head coach Tony Dodge said. “I’m disappointed in how we played. I’m disappointed in our practice week. I feel bad for the boys on Monday. They better be ready to go.”
In total, Nipomo had 12 penalties for 99 yards in the game.
“It was just not a well played football game. I’m not happy about it, and it starts with me,” Dodge said.
Despite all the mistakes, Nipomo did play well enough to be in the game in the second half. The Titans defense had two interceptions, and the running attack combo of Bausley and Michael Jordan (18 carries for 70 yards) gave Nipomo the edge in time of possession.
With time winding down in the third quarter and trailing 21-0, Nipomo worked the ball down to the Santa Ynez goal line. After stopping a couple of short runs, the Santa Ynez defense held Nipomo out of the end zone again on fourth and inches. It was the final stand that seemed to seal the game and take the air out of the sails of the Nipomo players.
The Santa Ynez defense had held its opponents scoreless for 11 quarters until a late 32-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter from Nicolas Robledo to J.J. Ramirez ended the streak. Robledo finished the game 13 of 28 for 141 yards and an interception.
Nipomo (1-3) will try to put the ugly loss behind them when it takes on Cabrillo on the road in Lompoc. Santa Ynez (3-0) will head to Templeton.