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Vinson gets school-record 5 TDs in 47-18 rout of Desert

Demitrius Vinson set a school record with 5 rushing TDs in a 47-18 win over College of the Desert. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Demitrius Vinson set a school record with 5 rushing TDs in a 47-18 win over College of the Desert. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Demetrius Vinson had a memorable day on Saturday as SBCC routed College of the Desert 47-18 in a nonconference football game at La Playa Stadium.

Vinson, a 6-1 freshman from Gregori High in Modesto, set a school record with five rushing touchdowns of 27, 21, 3, 75 and 3 yards. He ran 17 times for a season-high 188 yards and an impressive average of 11.1 per carry. His 188 yards tied him for fourth on the Vaqueros' single-game chart with Chad Marsalek (1994 vs. Glendale).

In the last two weeks, Vinson has rushed 32 times for 336 yards (10.5 average) and six TDs. He leads the Vaqueros in rushing yards (443) and tops the state in yards per carry (9.4).

"He's tall, physical and has uncanny balance," said coach Craig Moropoulos. "He's also very fast."

Following an interception by freshman linebacker Dallas Martin, SBCC took over on the Desert 30. Three plays later, Vinson took off on third-and-1 from the 21, broke a tackle at the 13, received some balance help from lineman Wyatt Gardner and sprinted into the end zone for a 20-0 halftime lead.

The Vaqueros (4-1) won their fourth straight game and Desert, which had scored 61 and 41 in two wins the last two weeks, fell to 2-3. Santa Barbara has outscored its last three opponents 139-24.

The Vaqueros boosted their all-time record vs. Desert to 6-0 in their 600th football game. SBCC's all-time record is 280-312-8.

Santa Barbara outgained the Roadrunners 421-381 while running 48 less plays. The Vaqueros averaged 8.4 yards on 50 plays and Desert averaged 3.9 yards on 98 plays. Desert had the upper hand in first downs (28-15) and time of possession (37:09 to 22:51).

The Vaqueros dominated the run game for the third straight week, outrushing the visitors 262-192 and averaging 7.5 yards per rush.

"The O-line had a great game, I couldn't have done it without them," said Vinson. "I kept running hard, moving my feet and looking for anything I could get. We couldn't ask for a better offensive line, even with injuries and adversity, we're still getting through.

"I knew I had to step up when Perry (Martin) went down with an injury. I've been working hard in practice and studying film and it paid off. I love this team, we have a lot of talent."

SBCC leads the state in rushing per game (262.8), rushing average (6.5) and rushing TDs (20). The Vaqueros are second in the state in scoring at 44.8.

The Vaqueros took a 20-0 halftime lead for the second straight week on a 16-yard TD pass from Noah Holle to Jason-Matthew Sharsh, a 27-yard TD run on a great cutback by Vinson and a 21-yard TD run by Vinson that capped a 3-play, 45-yard drive.

Santa Barbara didn't have the services of quarterback Joshua Lindman, who's probably out for the year with a knee injury and running back Perry Martin, who missed his second straight game with an injury.

Sharsh caught four passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. The speedy sophomore from Honolulu, Hawaii, took the second half kickoff at his own 5 and found open sailing on a 73-yard return to the Desert 22.

Emmanuel Nwosu ran 19 yards to the 3 and Vinson finished it off with a 3-yard burst over left tackle. Holle's 2-point pass was incomplete and the Vaqueros led 26-0.

Nakota Shepard-Creer intercepted on the next Roadrunner possession but Holle tossed an interception to Corey Dalton on the very next play.

Desert drove 78 yards in 20 plays and got on the board on a 1-yard run by Robbie Polimeni.

The Vaqueros responded in just two plays as Vinson took a pitch to the right on second down and sprinted 75 yards untouched into the end zone to push the lead to 33-7.

Abel Gonzalez, a sophomore from Bishop Diego High, forced a fumble by Reginald Macon on the ensuing kickoff return. Ervin Osei-Wusu picked up the ball at the 14 and returned it for the Vaqueros' second TD in 16 seconds.

Shepard-Creer blocked a 39-yard field goal on the Roadrunners' next possession and Tony Anderson returned it to the Desert 25. On the first play of the final quarter, Holle hit Sharsh on a tunnel screen to the left and he went 67 yards to the Desert 3. One play later, Vinson scored on a 3-yard sweep to the right, extending the lead to 47-7.

Holle completed 8-of-15 passes for 159 yards and a TD with two interceptions.

Moropoulos was happy to see his team get within a yard of its rushing average of 263.0 and surpass its scoring average.

"I knew Demetrius had a lot of big-time plays today," said Moropoulos. "I was worried about Desert's offense, they were really good. We made some mistakes on defense but we also made a lot of plays.

"We didn't have Isaac McClain in the offensive line today but we still rushed for 262 yards. A win is a win, we're always pleased to get one. It's huge to have a week off now, right before we play Hancock and we have two weeks to prepare."

Anderson led the defense with 12 tackles (five solo) and an interception. Martin added 10 tackles and a pick. The Vaqueros extended their blocked kick streak to five games when Shepard-Creer rejected a 39-yard field goal try late in the third quarter.

Santa Barbara has blocked eight kicks in five games.

Rhomel Fields had a pick-6 on the second play of the game when he intercepted a pass by De'Abrie Smith and returned it 17 yards for an apparent touchdown. But it was wiped out by a personal foul on the Vaqueros.

After a bye next week, the Vaqueros will open American Pacific League play at Hancock on Saturday, Oct. 15 with kickoff at 2 p.m.