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Hancock runs past Vaqueros 31-3

Tight end Cody Haines makes a leaping grab for a 14-yard gain in the first quarter. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Tight end Cody Haines makes a leaping grab for a 14-yard gain in the first quarter. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Isaac Bausley ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday, leading Hancock to a 31-3 win over SBCC in the American Pacific League football opener at La Playa Stadium.

The Bulldogs (4-2, 1-0) piled up 296 rushing yards while holding the Vaqueros (3-3, 0-1) to 204 total yards.

Hancock snapped the Vaqueros' four-game win streak in the series. This was the 57th meeting between the county rivals and the Bulldogs lead the series 32-24-1.

Hancock took the opening kick and drove 68 yards in 16 plays, taking up more than half of the first quarter (7:43). Fifteen of the 16 plays were runs and the visitors from Santa Maria converted two fourth-down plays. Bausley capped the march with a 5-yard run around the left side for a 6-0 lead.

Russell Enholm blocked the PAT kick by Jordan Pollard.

SBCC's Emmanuel Nwosu eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the fifth straight game. He had 92 yards in the first half and finished with 117 yards on 19 tries for a 6.2 average. He's No. 4 in the state, averaging 130.5 yards per game.

The Vaqueros drove from their own 23 to the Bulldog 19 early in the second quarter with Nwosu gaining 27 yards on the ground. Martin Ahlstroem's 36-yard field-goal try hit the left post and bounced back into the end zone.

Santa Barbara got the ball back two plays later when Ryheem Skinner fumbled at his 25 and linebacker Nolan Berry recovered for the Vaqueros at the 29. Nwosu gained nine yards on a fourth-and-three from the 22 but the drive stalled at the 13.

Ahlstroem, a freshman from Sweden, booted a 30-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 6-3.

Hancock responded with a five-play, 72-yard scoring drive, thanks to runs of 28, 17 and 12 yards to start the drive. Bausley's 9-yard TD run and a 2-point pass from Jimmy Kelleher to Dominic Chance boosted the lead to 14-3 with 2:23 to go in the first half.

"Obviously, it was a tough day," said SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos. "Our guys kept playing hard and we kept getting after 'em defensively. They're a good team. They pound you and they get a chance to do what they want to do.

"Unfortunately, our offense had some opportunities but just couldn't convert. We were in the red zone three times in the first half and only got three points out of it. When you face a team that runs it as well as Hancock, you have to convert your opportunities."

Hancock won the first-down battle 20-13 and garnered 370 total yards compared to 204 for the Vaqueros. SBCC was 3-of-14 on third-down conversions.

The Vaqueros didn't commit a single penalty and Hancock had four for 40 yards.

A short punt set the Bulldogs up on the SBCC 40 with 6:40 to go in the third quarter. After four runs for 12 yards, Kelleher made a play-action fake and hit a wide-open Chance for a 28-yard TD and a 21-3 lead.

A fumbled kick return left SBCC on its own 2-yard line. On third down, Bradley Kleven threw a ball that linebacker JD Smith tipped to himself for an interception at the Vaquero 17. On fourth down, Pollard kicked a 30-yard field goal to make it 24-3 late in the third quarter.

Houston Little led the Vaquero defense with 14 tackles and linebacker Mason Hoose had 10.

"We didn't get it done today," said Moropoulos. "We have to get back and get ready for Antelope Valley. This is a tough loss to handle but we have to let it go and get ready for next week."

The Vaqueros will play their second straight home game on Saturday when they host Antelope Valley at 1 p.m.