Coming off of a bye week after a 3-0 loss to Righetti High, Atascadero found itself behind St. Joseph 21-14 at the half after giving up 21 points in the second quarter Friday.
In desperate need of a momentum shift, it took a few lucky bounces to put the Greyhounds (6-1, 2-1 PAC 7) en route to a 37-27 home football victory.
Early in the third quarter, Jesse Whitten connected with Weston Walker for a 51-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 21.
Then, on their next drive, Greyhounds fullback Davis Cracknell took the handoff on the St. Joseph 2-yard line and had the ball stripped.
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Atascadero teammate Tyler Van Tassel tracked down the ball in the end zone and fell on it to put Atascadero up for good at 28-21. The defense made it a two-possession game shortly after, when Adam Woodhull, Cracknell and Joseph Aguiar took down Knights quarterback Paul Avila in the end zone for a safety.
Atascadero’s Tanner Thompson accounted for three touchdowns and rushed for 133 yards.
Whitten passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
Jack Donovan had rushing touchdowns of 14, 16 and 3 yards for St. Joseph (2-5, 0-4).
Atascadero’s Troy Norris intercepted his eighth pass of the season in the first half.
Templeton 26, Santa Maria 14
A week after a 28-27 double-overtime loss to Santa Ynez, Templeton dispatched Santa Maria.
The Eagles (4-3, 2-1 Los Padres League) relied on the ground game to move the ball, amassing 237 yards on 44 attempts.
Templeton’s Kory Dearie (15 rushes, 126 yards, one touchdown) and Tyler Gray (15 rushes 67 yards, three touchdowns) shared the load.
Santa Maria (3-5, 1-3) had a statistically similar game to Templeton (246 rushing yards to 237), but the Eagles were able to control time of possession to keep the Saints off the board.
“They played a really good game,” Templeton coach Dave Harper said. “It boiled down to time of possession and the wind.”
Santa Maria’s Joel Enriquez led the Saints with 105 yards rushing and one touchdown, and Mershad Dillon added an early 75-yard run for a score.
Lompoc 51, Morro Bay 12
The Braves (5-2, 3-0 LPL) scored early and often to defeat the Pirates (3-4, 2-1).
The Braves led 34-12 at halftime and cruised from there.
Morro Bay’s Sam Crizer connected on a 10-yard pass to Austin Emley for Morro Bay’s first touchdown.
In the second quarter, Crizer ran in from 3 yards out to cap the Pirates’ scoring.
Crizer finished with 224 yards of total offense. He racked up 102 on the ground and 122 through the air. He also threw two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns.
Jaccob Carlson was the Pirates’ leading receiver with 51 yards on four catches.
Santa Ynez 38, Nipomo 13
The Titans closed the gap to 18-13 in the third quarter but fell apart in the fourth quarter, getting outscored 20-0 in the LPL road game. The only two scores on the night for Nipomo came from Devonte Jackson. He had a 1-yard run for a touchdown in the first quarter and a 5-yard run in the third. He finished with 56 rushing yards on 16 attempts.
Joe Gutshall had three receptions for 77 yards, and Micah DeBruno hauled in three catches for 70 yards for Nipomo (0-7, 0-4 LPL). Santa Ynez (3-4, 2-2) had standout performances from Kevin Lopez, who passed for 194 yards, and David Bathena who caught four passes for 106 yards. John Blackwell had one rush for 80 yards.
Coast Union 45, McFarland 25
Andrew Gordon had another big game as the Broncos (3-4, 2-0 East Sierra League) took over the second half to beat McFarland (1-6, 0-1).
Coast Union jumped out to a14-6 lead in the first quarter, led 21-18 at halftime and then dominated the second half, outscoring McFarland 24-6.
Gordon accounted for five of the Broncos’ six touchdowns. He had four rushing touchdowns, including touchdown runs of 63 and 74 yards and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Sam Rivera.