The Atascadero School football team started its season in dramatic fashion against Foothill of Santa Ana.
After giving up a fourth-quarter touchdown to the Knights that tied the score at 21-21, Atascadero senior running back Arik Machado scored on a 20-yard touchdown run in overtime to seal the win.
Machado finished with two touchdowns and 118 yards rushing to signal the return of Atascadero’s old-school run game.
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The Greyhounds face a much more difficult test this week when they welcome Ventura to A-town. MaxPreps lists Ventura (No. 69) way ahead of Atascadero (No. 134) in its CIF-Southern Section rankings. Ventura is coming off a 42-14 win over Thousand Oaks last week. The Cougars racked up more than 600 yards of offense in the win led by quarterback Kyle Gerardi, who passed for 308 yards.
To stop the potent Ventura (1-0) offense, Atascadero (1-0) will need another big game from senior defensive end Kamren Brown, who had 13 total tackles, including one for a loss, against Foothill. Atascadero juniors Sam DeRose (4.0 TFL) and Matt Perry (3 TFL) will also need to invade the Ventura backfield like they did against Foothill to get the ‘Hounds off to a 2-0 start.
Here’s a look at other games involving San Luis Obispo County teams for Week 1 (kickoff time for all games is 7 p.m.):
Bishop Diego (1-0) at Arroyo Grande (0-1)
Arroyo Grande will look to find its rhythm after failing to score an offensive touchdown against Lompoc to open the season. We’ll see if that means continuing to go with a two-quarterback system or picking either junior Kadin Byrne or Caleb Tomasin to lead the offense.
San Luis Obispo (0-1) at Pioneer Valley (1-0)
Pioneer Valley played well enough in a win over Nipomo to open the season while SLO High did not. SLO High running back Pierson Mosichuk (22 carries, 137 yards, TD) was the lone bright spot in a 45-10 loss to Santa Maria.
Nipomo (0-1) at Lompoc (1-0)
Nipomo goes on the road to face a Lompoc team that looks to be by far and away the best team in the area with a long list of stars on offense and defense.
Morro Bay (0-1) at San Marcos (0-1)
This game features two evenly matched teams with similar rankings. Both teams are coming of 40-plus point losses to open the season and will be looking to rebound with a win. There are questions surrounding the health of Morro Bay quarterback Aidan Moriarty after he was sacked multiple times by the Righetti defense last week. Morro Bay head coach David Kelley replied “no comment” when asked about Moriarty’s status for Friday.
Templeton (0-1) at Strathmore (1-0)
Strathmore, the No. 1 ranked team in CIF-Central Section Division 6, hosts a Templeton team coming off a 58-12 loss to Aptos last week. Templeton should have a chance to win this game, but it will have to slow the Strathmore rushing attack that went for 366 yards last week in a win over Farmersville.
Paso Robles (0-1) at Frontier (1-0)
Mission Prep at Pinewood (Los Altos)
Canceled due to extreme heat.