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Vaqueros Go for 60 Points in LA Pierce Blow Out

Mekhi Norfleet (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Mekhi Norfleet (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The SBCC football team made history in its conference opener on Saturday afternoon at La Playa Stadium, tying the school record for the Vaqueros' largest win of all-time in a 60-6 rout over LA Pierce.

The Vaquero defense forced more turnovers (7) than punts (5) out of the Brahmas, scoring 54 of their 60 unanswered points in the second and third quarters alone. It was their highest point total in nearly 25 years and just three shy of the all-time high.

With its fourth consecutive win, Santa Barbara (4-1, 1-0) is now out to its best five-game start since the 2016 season.

Surprisingly enough, it was LA Pierce (0-6, 0-1) that struck first. A 43-yard pass play set the Brahmas up for a rushing touchdown from two yards out on their third possession of the day.

From there, it was all SBCC, as the home side put up touchdowns on its next five possessions. First, defensive back Jack Kilpatrick picked off a pass to the flat and took it 19 yards to the house, giving the home side a 7-6 lead.

The Brahmas would botch a punt attempt and fumble a kickoff the next two times they had the ball, setting SBCC up with red zone starting position on both occasions. Vaquero runningbacks then scored on back-to-back 20-yard runs, as Mekhi Norfleet and Quincy Sherman both broke outside to score on the first play of successive drives.

Following another turnover on downs, runningback Nick Lomanto went practically untouched on a 29-yard scamper to the end zone, and all of a sudden it was 27-6.

Contributing out of the defensive secondary as a two-way player, Marcus Bellon showed why he is listed as a wide receiver, sliding in to make an outstanding interception to force the fifth Brahma turnover of the opening half. Quarterback Alex Johnson then tossed his first TD of the year to make it 34-6, finding tight end Ben Ortiz for a 6-yard score with two minutes left before halftime.

The onslaught picked right back up on the first play out of the break, as Bellon took the third quarter kickoff 73 yards for his second return touchdown of 2021. Another Norfleet rushing TD, a safety, a Jorge Figueroa field goal and a 1-yard Jerry Martin rush saw the Vaqueros close out the third quarter with nine scores in their last 10 possessions.

The only other time SBCC reached the 60-point mark was in a record-setting 63-9 win over Ventura way back on Nov. 9, 1996.

Kilpatrick was a defensive standout with two forced fumbles, a pass breakup, and his pick-six. He also matched linebacker Zach Schipper with a team-high five tackles. Kilpatrick is now tied for the team-lead with three interceptions on the year.

Defensive linemen Nah'Shawn Keith (1), Semisi Falemaka (0.5) and Jordan Tagaloa (0.5) all added to their sack totals for the year. Nico Diaz, Berry Buxton and Jake Lambden all had fumble recoveries.

Following the conference-opening win, the Vaqueros will head on the road to face LA Valley next Saturday, Oct. 23 at 6:00 p.m.