Saturday, November 15, 2014

Playoff highlights: Air Braves? Lompoc turns to the passing game to avoid upset

Before its opening CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoff game at Huyck Stadium, Lompoc High entered the Nov. 14 contest against Camarillo averaging 315.9 yards through the running attack, but 84.5 yards through the air.

Those numbers nearly reversed at the right time for the unbeaten Braves.

After the running game got bottled up by eight to nine Scorpion players collapsing the line of scrimmage, Lompoc turned to the air and got 301 yards from backup quarterback Joseph Osegueda, as the No. 1 seeded Braves avoided the upset, beating Camarillo 38-28 to improve to 11-0.

Osegueda, who also plays cornerback, stepped into the offensive lineup after starter Torey Sims went down with a broken collarbone during the first quarter. The 6-foot-4 senior attacked the Scorpion pass defense through screen passes and the play action. He finished with three touchdowns, including two to Richard Foster on 11 and 31-yard scoring strikes.

Osegueda added big plays from his natural spot as well, by snatching two interceptions of CHS quarterback Jake Constantine while playing cornerback. 

Lompoc's victory sets up a Friday, Nov. 21, road contest at Arroyo Grande, which is a rematch of the Aug. 29 game won by the Braves 20-13.


It was a tough first go around for Camarillo in the Camino League, finishing 6-5 but 1-2 in its new realm. And, the Scorpions needed a Hail Mary miracle from Frankie Tostado against Royal-Simi Valley in the season finale to clinch an at-large playoff berth; a far different scenario for them compared to their dominating run of five straight Pacific View League championships.

Camarillo has to replace leading tackler Bryce Arnold at linebacker and big 6-foot-4, 255-pound tight end Nico Lima this offseason.

But Tostado - a 6-foot-3 athletic wide receiver - and 26 other members of a stacked 2016 class are expected to return to Carl Thompson Field next season, with the potential to be one of the deepest and most talented classes in Ventura County.

Tostado proved to be a match up nightmare for opposing cornerbacks, winning one-on-one battles with his height and vertical jump and hauling down 10 touchdowns, in just six games played.

He's not the only weapon returning.

Versatile slot receiver and return ace Elijah Alexander returns. So does work horse running backs Colby Stevens and Isaiah Otis, who rushed for 140 yards and scored once against the Braves.

Also back? Quarterback Jake Constantine, who's already getting phone calls and letters from some big time college football programs in the Mountain West (Colorado State and Fresno State) and Clemson of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Playing in an up-tempo, no-huddle pro style offense, Constantine finished his junior season with 2,505 yards, 26 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He not only showed a deep ball and zip to this throws, but frustrated pass rushers with his mobility.

Camarillo has made the postseason 17 straight times. There's the strong chance that number could go to 18 with the players and incoming senior class mentioned above.


The 2-8 Buchanan Bears let out the biggest roar in the Central Section playoffs, knocking off traditional section power and No. 6 seeded Bullard-Fresno 35-29 at Sunnyside High School to advance in the Division I postseason.

How did the Bears send shock waves throughout the 559? They relied on the running of Chuby Dunu, who started the game with back-to-back 6-yard touchdown runs, putting Buchanan up 14-0. Then, they turned to dynamic playmaker Zach Ashford, who scored touchdowns of 71 and 39 yards through the air.

There was also the relentless Buchanan defense, featuring national recruit Bryson Young at outside linebacker. Built like a college-ready player at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds and already armed with offers from Colorado State and Fresno State, Young used his speed on a 36-yard fumble return for the score, then was active on a Bear defense that held rising 2016 prospect Charles Williams to 90 rushing yards on 24 carries.

Dunu finished with 135 yards on 30 carries and the two touchdowns. Ashford caught three passes for 123 yards and the two scores.

The 11th seeded Bears - who previously hadn't won a playoff game since 2008 - will now travel to reigning state champion and No. 3 seed Bakersfield on Friday, Nov. 21.


Romello Harris out-dueled Sunnyside-Fresno star running back Malcolm Williams in Tulare's section DII playoff opener, accumulating 230 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns in the Redskins' 55-18 trouncing at Bob Mathias Stadium.

It's the fourth straight week that Harris has gone past the 200 mark, giving him a section best 2,517 yards on the season and 30 touchdowns.

Williams, who was the second leading rusher in the section behind Harris, finishes his career with 2,336 yards in 2014-15 and 18 touchdowns.

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