Saturday, October 25, 2014

Seraphs pull away from Oaks Christian

Chris Santoyo is all smiles, after the backup running back scored two touchdown runs and lifted St. Bonaventure-Ventura to the 21-17 victory over Oaks Christian-Westlake Village in a battle between two Ventura County powerhouses (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna).
LaDell Atkins got the St. Bonaventure side to cheer thunderously with less than two minutes to go in the game after completing a wide open 67-yard catch and run for the touchdown, helping seal the 21-17 victory over Oaks Christian-Westlake Village on Friday, Oct. 24, at Ventura High School.

Atkins lined up in the slot wide receiver position on the right side of the line of scrimmage, ran past midfield to catch the ball, then sprinted through the Lions' zone coverage for the long scoring scamper. The touchdown came with one minute and 57 seconds left in the game.

Oaks Christian had one last drive to win the contest, but the Lions couldn't convert on fourth and two after their pass to the right side of the field was batted down.

Along with Atkins, Chris Santoyo - a reserve running back - scored for the 5-3 Seraphs. Santoyo, who had 286 rushing yards in St. Bonaventure's last game against Camarillo (a 28-10 victory on Oct. 10), got two touchdown runs of eight and 12 yards.

"It was a crazy game," Santoyo said. "We knew we were going to be evenly matched."

Santoyo and Marcus Chambers powered a Seraph rushing attack that wore down the Lions with counter runs up the offensive tackles' side. Chambers broke a 35-yard run during the third quarter. On the next play, Santoyo scored his first touchdown of the night - an 8-yard run up the left side.

The game was scoreless for one half before Oaks Christian (4-4) struck first on a 40-yard field goal. The Lions received their most offensive production from junior wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

The recent UCLA commit and son of former NFL running back Michael Pittman caught both touchdowns for OCHS: a leaping 3-yard grab over the defender's back in man coverage, then a 50-yarder that saw Pittman Jr. dash past the cornerback and safety down the right sideline for the Hail Mary score.

Pittman Jr. finished with 144 yards on five catches and two touchdowns. The Seraph pass rush accounted for four sacks against OCHS quarterback Matt Corral.

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