After last week’s PAC 7 opening loss to Paso Robles High and trailing in the fourth quarter Friday at Pioneer Valley, San Luis Obispo football coach David Kelley wasn’t ready to hit the panic button just yet.
The Tigers drove the ball efficiently downfield, eventually leading to a 4-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Maez to Trevor MacLeod and a 23-21 San Luis Obispo victory.
“We drove downfield using the triple option that we’ve been working on,” Kelley said. “I’m just really proud of the team’s perseverance.”
Maez finished 9-of-17 passing with two touchdowns and an interception. He threw a 7-yard touchdown strike to Marco Murillo to put the Tigers (3-3, 1-1) on the board in the first quarter.
San Luis Obispo running back Vance Cramer had a second strong outing in league play. Through the two PAC 7 games, Cramer has rushed 33 times for 303 yards. He added a 26-yard run that temporarily gave the Tigers a second-quarter lead. Cramer had 149 yards Friday on 14 carries.
“Schematically we take what we can get,” Kelley said. “Teams are giving us the A-back position and he’s taken advantage of it.”
Mason Orradre added three catches for 83 yards and MacLeod finished with three catches for 57 yards and the game winner.
Kelley was also pleased with the defensive play of Nick Butier, who led the team in tackling.
“Defensively, Nick played like an animal out there,” Kelley said. “(Cramer and Butier) are two guys that have assumed big leadership roles.”
Paso Robles 42, St. Francis 28
The Bearcats scored 21 straight points to end the first half and take control of the nonleague game after St. Francis took an early 7-0 lead.
Paso Robles (3-2) got big performances from Jacob Searcy and Elias Stokes once again.
Searcy was 16-of-23 passing for 208 yards and four touchdowns and tacked on another 104 yards, a game high, on the ground. Stokes caught two touchdown passes while gaining 105 yards on eight catches. He and Searcy connected twice for touchdowns amidst the 21-point run to end the half.
Aleksander Koch also had a big game for the Bearcats, hauling in five catches for 85 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Paso Robles capped its scoring on a 44-yard kickoff return by Sott Plescia on an attempted onside kick by St. Francis.
St. Francis had its share of good performances as well. Bret Nelson was 18-of-25 passing for 271 yards and two touchdowns. Ian Hamilton was the leading receiver for St. Francis with three catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns, including a 73-yarder in the fourth. Travis Palianko had four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Arroyo Grande 26, St. Joseph 15
Arroyo Grande (5-1, 1-1 PAC 7) used two fourth-quarter touchdowns to push past St. Joseph (2-3, 0-2).
After falling to Atascadero last week, the Eagles responded with a quick score in the first quarter — a 4-yard touchdown run by Seth Jacobs.
But after two Garrett Owens field goals through the next two quarters put Arroyo Grande up 12-0, St. Joseph responded with two scores of its own.
Paul Avila connected on two touchdown passes, a 9-yard pass to Jack Donovan and a 22-yard-pass to Ryan Mediano, to put the Knights up 15-12 after a two-point conversion.
Then, Arroyo Grande’s Brent Vanderveen took over and punched in two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns himself. One was from 19 yards out and the other from 4 yards out.
Cabrillo 33, Nipomo 6
With Cabrillo and Nipomo scoreless with a minute to go in the first half, it took a play by the Conquistadors special teams to get the first score on the board en route to a home victory over the Titans.
Cabrillo (2-5, 1-1) blocked a field-goal attempt as halftime approached, and Daniel Cousins returned the ball 72 yards for a touchdown to give Cabrillo a 7-0 halftime lead.
The Conquistadors added two rushing touchdowns for a 20-0 lead before the Titans (0-5, 0-2) could get their first points on the board.Isaiah Montes led Cabrillo with 79 all-purpose yards and two short touchdown runs.
Devonte Jackson, forced to move from running back to quarterback after the Titans’ first two signal-callers were injured this season, ran for 73 yards and a touchdown and passed for 67 yards.