Aug 24, 2012 12:14 AM by Andrew Masuda
Fourteen Northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County 11-man football teams open the 2012 season Friday night. The first week of games, known as Week 0, is a week earlier this season because C.I.F. has added a play-in regional game to determine the teams in the State Bowl games.
Friday marks the debuts of four first-year head coaches in Morro Bay's Jack Greer, Santa Maria's Don Willis, Santa Ynez High's Josh McClurg and St. Joseph's Dustin Davis.
ARROYO GRANDE @ LOMPOC, 7 PM
The season opens with a match-up of defending C.I.F. champions as the Eagles open in Lompoc. Arroyo Grande is riding a 13 game winning streak, while the Braves have won 20 in a row, including a 38-28 season opening win last year at AG. The Braves overcame a 21-0 second quarter deficit in their last meeting to snap a 3 game skid to the Eagles. The Braves return several key players including Taylor Cornejo and Washington-bound Lavon Coleman, who last year racked up nearly 2,000 yards rushing, including 168 yards and 3 TD against the Eagles. The Eagles lost nearly two dozens seniors to graduation from last year's team, including FBS-level recruits Brent VanderVeen, Garrett Owens, Seth Jacobs and Garrett Weinreich. Matt Willkomm takes over as the Eagles' starting quarterback.
BULLARD @ PASO ROBLES, 7 PM (Flamson Middle School)
Paso Robles is looking to rebound from last year's 3-6 season. Rich Schmike returns a group of experienced players led by quarterback Garrett Nelson, who threw for 1,055 yards last season and rushed for 155 more. Colton Madrigal, Josh Jeter and Kevan Garcia provide plenty of options at running back. Madrigal rushed for 574 yards on 100 carries last year, while Garcia racked up 184 yards in limited duties. The Bearcats face a tough task in Central Section Division I runner-up Bullard. The Knights lost some key players from last year's 10-3 squad, but still return plenty of stars at skilled positions. Linebackers Josh Newman and Zach Carter lead the defense. Quarterback Niko Pacheco returns to lead the offense after throwing for 1,224 yards last season. Junior Dejonte O'Neal is a dynamic kick returner and running back.
CLOVIS NORTH @ ATASCADERO, 7:30 PM
The Greyhounds face a tough task in their season opener when defending CIF-Central Section champion Clovis North comes to town. Atascadero is coming off a 6-4 season that ended without a postseason berth. Vic Cooper's offense will be led by junior Robbie Berwick, who last year threw for 1,245 yards and 11 TD, while rushing for 361 yards. Jonathan Torres will lead a committee of running backs, while robert Hisxon and Dominic Chance will anchor the Hounds' defense. Overall, Atascadero is a young team, but features several juniors, who are coming off undefeated freshmen and sophomore seasons. The Broncos are coming off a 10-3 season that ended with a four game winning streak. They are a pass-happy team that returns 6-2 quarterback Christian Rossi, wide receiver Arnold Lopez and 6-6 tight end David Wells. Marcus Rose is a legitimate deep threat and solid kick returner. He caught 25 passes for 572 yards and 7 TD last season.
TEMPLETON @ CARPINTERIA, 7:30 PM
The Templeton Eagles open the 2012 season in Carpinteria, the same place where they won their first round playoff game last season 41-28. The Eagles went on to make their second-straight CIF semifinal appearance and finished 7-6. Second year head coach Dan Loney returns several key players, including quarterback Alex Elterman, wide receiver Tobey Isbell and running back Conner Truhitte. Matt Arace, expected to be a key running back for the Eagles, is out with a knee injury. The Warriors are led by junior quarterback Ian Craddock, who last year threw for 1,132 yards and 9 touchdowns, while rushing for 7 more scores. Carpinteria is coming off a 7-4 season.
NIPOMO @ PIONEER VALLEY, 7 PM
Dan Ellington's Panthers will go for their fourth-straight win over Russ Edwards' Nipomo Titans. PV won 24-24 on a 37 yard field goal from Frank Alcantar as time expired last year. Luke Shurtleff takes over the reins at quarterback for the Titans, who lost several key offensive weapons to graduation. Tommy Saenz will lead the Titans' running game in 2012, while Ian Wilkinson and Clayton Freitas will be the leaders on the defensive side of the ball. Nipomo is coming off a 4-6 season, where it just missed the postseason. PV lost many of its big play makers from last year's squad. Drew Johnson is the team's new quarterback. The Panthers have dedicated their season to former assistant coach Neil Reed, who passed away last month from heart complications.
VILLA PARK @ RIGHETTI, 7 PM
The Warriors open 2012 with experienced quarterback Troy Prober returning to lead the offense. Taelor Griego, Collin Cooper and Luke Wilson are other key players back for the Warriors. Righetti is coming off a 7-4 season, where it tied for second in the Pac 7. They lost in the second round of the playoffs, to eventual runner-up Santa Monica. Villa Park is coming off an 11-1 season. The Spartans averaged 45.6 points per game last year and return 6 starters on both sides of the ball. They lost several key offensive weapons to graduation, but return Meki Tafuna, who rushed for 613 yards and 16 TD last season.
SANTA YNEZ @ DOS PUEBLOS, 7PM
Two first year head coaches will face-off against each other at Dos Pueblos High. Santa Ynez is led by Josh McClurg, while DP is coached by Nate Mendoza. The Pirates are coming off a 5-6 season. Santa Ynez returns All-League free safety Spencer Arementa (85 tackles, 7 pass deflections), Grey Hollingsworth (76 yards rushing) and Alec Hanna (234 rushing yards, 2 TD). Brock Dickey will assume the starting quarterback duties after seeing some playing time last year as a sophomore. DP is coming off a 3-8 season that saw the Chargers lose in the first round of CIF to eventual champion Arroyo Grande. Mendoza takes over after coaching the school's baseball team. He served as DP's defensive coordinator in 2010 when the team won its first-ever league title. He also played at Lompoc High on the Braves' 2002 CIF championship team that was led by current Lompoc head coach Andrew Jones.
ST. JOSEPH @ SANTA BARBARA, 7:30 PM
First year head coach Dustin Davis and St. Joseph look to start the season on a winning note against the Dons, who's head coach Doug Caines is also making his debut. The Knights are coming off a 3-7 season, but return 17 of their 22 starters. Curry Parham takes over the quarterback duties. He has plenty of options with Wesley Williams (380 yards rushing), Scotty Cusack (374 rushing yards and 93 receiving yards in 5 games), Zak Karsh (48 catches, 704 yards, 7 TD) and Ryan Mediano. DJ Migliaccio anchors the defense after recording 76 tackles last season. Santa Barbara went 5-5 last season. Shawn Ramos returns at quarterback after throwing for 1,153 yards and 11 INT last year. Cheroke Cunningham will lead the ground attack after he rushed for 1,153 yards and 16 TD last year as a sophomore. 6-3 tight end Emilio Gonzales is the primary pass target after compiling 39 catches for 597 yards last year. Linebacker Rudy Corrales and defensive back Efren Sanchez will be the key defensive players for the Dons.
CABRILLO @ SAN MARCOS, 7 PM
With several new faces, Cabrillo will look to continue its winning ways in 2012 under head coach Craig Knowles. The Conquistadores went 11-3 last year and lost in the CIF title game to Lompoc. They still completed their first winning season since 2005. Cabrillo scored 44 unanswered points in last year's season opener to beat San Marcos 44-7.
BISHOP DIEGO @ SANTA MARIA, 7 PM
Former NFL player and Cabrillo assistant coach Don Willis makes his head coaching debut with Santa Maria. Numbers are up for the Saints, who have about 40 players on the roster. They are coming off a 1-8 season and have won only 15 games over the last nine seasons. However, players are optimistic about 2012. Senior running back and linebacker Jacob Rodas, as well as senior fullback and linebacker Daniel Kakuk will be the team's leaders. Bishop Diego is coming off an 11-2 season and CIF semifinal appearance. The Cardinals return Jack Gregson, who rushed for 812 yards and 9 TD last season, as well as caught passes for 209 yards. The Cardinals are led defensively by juniors Christian Pearson (114 tackles) and Adrian Solis (102 tackles).
MORRO BAY @ TORRES, 7 PM
The Jack Greer era kicks off in Los Angeles for Morro Bay. The Pirates are coming off a dismal 1-9 season and lost their entire offensive line to graduation. But they do return several players, who received valuable playing time last season. The Pirates return Tristan Collins, who last year rushed for 630 yards and 6 touchdowns. Quarterback Jordan Bray is also back after accounting for nearly 500 yards of total offense. Jake Beavers (94 tackles, 3.5 sacks) and Kaine Davis (89 tackles) return to anchor the defense. Greer says the Pirates will throw a lot more than in years past. Torres went 4-4 last season. Angel Romo, who rushed for 191 yards last season, is the Toros' leading offensive weapon returning from last year.
MISSION PREP @ FILLMORE, 7:30 PM
The Mission Prep Royals are loaded in 2012 and aimed at making the postseason for the first time since joining the Southern Section. Tyler Baty returns to lead Chad Henry's potent offense after throwing for 1,888 yards and 31 TD one year ago. His top two targets are also back in Joey Hall (820 yards, 15 touchdowns) and Trevor Fernandez (396 yards, 8 TD). Patrick Laird and Michael Cardwell will handle the running game duties, they combined for nearly 960 yards on the ground last year. Andrew DeSesa (95 tackles) and Andrew DaRosa (80 tackles) are back on the defensive line for the Royals, who went 8-2 last year. Fillmore is coming off a 4-6 season that included a win over Morro Bay. Collin Farrar is back at quarterback after throwing for 1,127 yards and 18 TD last year, while linebacker Joseph Delamora will anchor the defense after racking up 108 tackles last season.
GARCES @ SAN LUIS OBISPO, 5:30 PM ON SATURDAY
For the third year in a row, David Kelley's Tigers open the season against a powerhouse from the Central Valley. The Tigers return 15 starters from last year's 8-4 squad that advanced to the CIF quarterfinals. Garrett Giovannelli is back at quarterback to lead the triple-option offense. Last year, he threw for 1,284 yards and rushed for 782 more yards. 6-2, 230 pound Jack Ferguson is back to anchor the defense after leading the Pac 7 last year with 152 tackles. Defensive back Nick Hill (51 tackles) and lineman Casey Foubert (68 tackles) will also provide a boost to the defense. Garces is coming off an 11-2 season and second-straight runner-up finish in the CIF Central Section. The Rams return a talented senior class and have depth at skills positions. 6-3, 295 pound lineman Keoni Taylor will create some holes for running back Dominic Frasch, who rushed for 665 yards last year and averaged almost 10 yards per carry. 6-1 receiver Angus Bellue caught 25 passes for 530 yards and 9 touchdowns last season.
Be sure to tune in for all the highlights and final scores at 11:10 pm on KSBY News for our season premier of Friday Night Highlights. If you would like to receive updated scores on Friday nights, click "like" on the KSBYSports Facebook page.
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