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Walker runs wild in 14-6 road loss

Chase Elliott, shown in last year's game with Antelope Valley, had a season-high 10 tackles on Saturday and a career-high 14 tackles last year vs. AVC. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Chase Elliott, shown in last year's game with Antelope Valley, had a season-high 10 tackles on Saturday and a career-high 14 tackles last year vs. AVC. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Tamir Walker ran for the third-most yards in SBCC history on Saturday night but the Vaqueros came up short in a 14-6 football loss to Antelope Valley in Lancaster.

Walker, a 5-9 freshman from Newport News, Va., racked up 200 yards on 43 carries with a long of 48 on the fourth play of the game. The Vaqueros (1-4) outrushed the Marauders 205 to 53.

Walker tied Jamaal Byrd for No. 3 on the all-time rushing list. Byrd gained 200 yards in a 2002 game vs. Bakersfield. In the first four games, Walker had carried 15 times for minus 3 yards.

"He was hurt for most of the summer," said coach Craig Moropoulos. "We knew he had a lot of ability. With our QB situation, we figured to be running a lot tonight."

Antelope Valley (2-2) scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns and took a 14-0 lead nine minutes into the non-conference game.

Delon Smith intercepted a tipped Jacob Villarreal pass on SBCC's second play and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. The Marauders drove 53 yards for their second TD on a 15-yard pass from Brian Adams to Tyler Presley with 5:57 to go in the first quarter.

The Vaqueros got to the AVC 6 on their second possession on runs of 17, 48 and 4 yards by Walker. A false start penalty and a sack moved the ball back to the 16 and Martin Ahlstroem missed a 33-yard field goal wide to the left.

The Vaqueros scored their only first-half points on a 33-yard field goal by Ahlstroem with 7:08 to go in the second quarter. AVC led 14-3 at intermission.

"They scored two quick touchdowns and we didn't allow another point the rest of the way," said Moropoulos. "We have to find a way to make things happen. I'm proud of the way the guys played all night tonight."

Jalen Purdue fumbled the second-half kickoff and Chase Elliott recovered, setting up the Vaqueros at the AVC 25. SBCC got to the 10, then lost two yards on two plays and Ahlstroem made a 29-yard kick. That pulled the Vaqueros within one score at 14-6.

Elliott had a season-high 10 tackles and two fumble recoveries.

Santa Barbara drove 46 yards to the Marauder 24 on its next possession but Ahlstroem was wide left on a 46-yard field goal try.

Lucas Olgiati threw Tony Belle for a pair of losses -- 10 and 2 yards -- at the AVC 34, forcing a punt with 1:40 to go. The Vaqueros were called for roughing-the-punter, however, giving the Marauders a new set of downs and they ran out the clock.

The Vaqueros have a bye on Saturday, then they'll open American Pacific Conference play on Oct. 13 with a 6 p.m. game at L.A. Pierce.