Shawn Hobson …..
VISTA – The home fans did not have much to cheer about at Dick Haines Stadium on Friday night as the Rancho Bernardo High football team outplayed the Panthers in almost every aspect. The visiting Broncos beat Vista High 37-6.
It was a tough loss for the Panthers, who came into the game after a big win. Vista beat Paloma Valley 61-7 its home opener on Sept. 4th.
“Demoralized,” Vista head coach Dan Williams said. “That’s what happens when you go out and smoke somebody, and then you get smoked.” Williams said it wasn’t due to a lack of preparation.
“We ran into a better football team, and a better coached football team,” Williams said. “Our offensive line decided not to play tonight. They ran a defensive scheme that we saw and practiced against. We just didn’t execute.”
Vista could not establish its running game, which was a feature it utilized emphatically in a victory the week before. Crucial fumbles did not help either. The Vista defense forced the Broncos to punt after their first possession, but a fumble on the 9-yard line led to an easy score for Rancho Bernardo. RB sophomore Matt Araiza kicked his first of three field goals with 5 minutes, 24 seconds left to play in the opening quarter.
The Broncos led 3-0 before the floodgates opened in favor of the visitors in the second quarter. Rancho Bernardo forced a fumble that Devin Dunn recovered on the Vista 41. The turnover eventually led to the Broncos’ first touchdown. Junior Kaelan Pestano scored on a 1-yard run.
The Panthers then went three-and-out on their next possession, and that’s when the passing game began to take off for the Broncos. Rancho Bernardo junior quarterback Mark Salazar threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Milan Grice. It only got worse for the Panthers (1-3) from that point on.
The Panthers went three-and-out once again, and they were forced to punt. Dunn blocked the kick, and Raymond Velasquez picked it up on the Vista 20-yard line and ran it into the end zone. Rancho Bernardo scored one more time in the second quarter after another Vista three-and-out.
Salazar threw a 32-yard TD pass to Leo Wagner with 53 seconds left to play before the halftime break. The undefeated Broncos (3-0) led 31-0 at halftime.
““We prepared our butts off for these guys,” Rancho Bernardo coach Tristan McCoy said. “We have a ton of respect for Vista and coach Williams and this program, but we came out ready for battle. It’s the toughest game we’ve had so far, and the toughest opponent.”
The Vista defense did not give up a touchdown in the second half.
“Their defense is good, and we knew Vista was going to be physical.” McCoy said. “But we also thought we were going to be able to move the ball in the air against them little bit”.
Salazar was 16-for-23 for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vista offense managed to avoid the shutout. Junior running back Abraham Lopez reached the end zone with 30 seconds left to play, but no point-after-touchdown kick was attempted. Lopez was Vista’s leading rusher with 45 yards on seven carries.
After the game, the two teams gathered together for a postgame fellowship prayer.
Rancho Bernardo….3..28..3..3 –37
Vista High…………..0….0..0..6 – 6
RB – Araiza 26 FG, 5:24
RB – Pestano 1 run (Araiza kick), 10:07
RB – Grice 43 pass from Salazar (Araiza kick), 6:05
RB – Velasquez 20 punt block return (Araiza kick), 4:14
RB – Wagner 32 pass from Salazar (Araiza kick), 53 sec.
RB – Araiza 31 FG, 4:26
RB – Araiza 19 FG, 8:09
V – Lopez 1 run, 30 sec.
Total Yards: Rancho Bernardo 361, Vista 145. Passing: Rancho Bernardo 219, Vista 44. Rushing: Rancho Bernardo, 142. Vista 101. First Downs: Rancho Bernardo 17, Vista 8. Penalties: Rancho Bernardo 12-79, Vista 3-18. Turnovers: Rancho Bernardo 0, Vista 2. Records: Rancho Bernardo 3-0. Vista 1-2.
PASSING: Rancho Bernardo, Salazar 16-23-219-0. Vista, JT Trevino 6-13-44-0. RUSHING: Rancho Bernardo, Pestano 4-8, Grice 12-40, Anthony Barnum 7-19, Ramon Colon 8-51, Salazar 5-0, Jace Kempner 1-24, Wagner 2-0. Vista, Cesar Mariscal 4-18, Brandon Price 2-6, Trevino 6-7, Josh Ketcher 3-4, Lopez 7-45, Nico Rosas 3-21. RECEIVING: Rancho Bernardo, Wagner 4-67, Grice 1-43, Devaughn Vele 8-45, Matthew Nelson 1-9, Jeffrey Molino 2-20, Christian Baker 3-34. Vista, Mariscal 1-5, Rosas 1-5, Elijah Davis 2-31, George Kostadinov 1-1, Dominic McClintic 1-2.
San Pasqual 31, Rancho Buena Vista 21
Horizon Christian Academy 45, Tri-City Christian 0
Rancho Bernardo JV 28, Vista JV 10
Contact Shawn Hobson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @HOBMediaWorks.
Photos by Shawn Hobson