We may have gotten some clues Friday night as to how the PAC 7 and Los Padres League pictures may eventually play out, as both leagues opened with a nearly full slate of games. Here were the scores:
• Atascadero 18, Arroyo Grande 6
• Paso Robles 41, San Luis Obispo 21
• Righetti 15, St. Joseph 7
• Pioneer Valley 28, Morro Bay 17
• Templeton 17, Cabrillo 0
• Santa Maria 33, Nipomo 27 (OT)
• Lompoc 20, Santa Ynez 19
• Mission Prep 9, Linfield Christian 6
• Fresno Christian 33, Coast Union 28
• North County Christian 58, Valencia Trinity Classical 17
Some highlights and musings:
• Paso Robles junior wide receiver Elias Stokes might be the most exciting singular offensive weapon on the Central Coast. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound junior had five catches for 165 yards and four touchdowns Friday, and also returned a kickoff for a 95-yard score. He’s up to 12 TDs on the season. Stokes was 24th in the state in receiving yards amongst sophomores in 2009.
• Beware of the Atascadero passing attack. Sure, the Greyhounds can pound the rock as usual, but second-year starting quarterback Jesse Whitten has command of this offense. The 6-3 senior was 11-of-17 for 219 yards and two TDs, with a pair of interceptions (one of which came on a tipped ball). His go-to target, junior wideout Logan Sprouse, hauled in four passes for 155 yards and two scores.
• Obviously it’s early, and I may be looking too far ahead, but the most intriguing one-on-one matchup in the area may take place later this year when the aforementioned Stokes lines up against Atascadero senior cornerback Troy Norris. Both were all-league first-team picks a year ago, and Norris is equally building upon his accomplishments. Norris is up to an area-best five interceptions returned for 132 yards and a TD this year.
• Even with the loss, San Luis Obispo’s improvement from last year’s 62-7 defeat at the hands of the Bearcats shouldn’t be overlooked. Tigers fullback Vance Cramer rushed for 154 yards on 19 carries this time.
• Templeton senior running back Tyler Gray had the most impressive local showing of the night on the ground, bulldozing his way to a season-high 289 yards and a pair of scores on 22 attempts.
• Mission Prep’s Spencer Rowley had two interceptions in the Royals’ interesting win, wherein all their points came on field goals. Jesse Andreini split the uprights from 25, 29 and 43 yards out. That game also saw former Cal Poly quarterback Chad Henry get his head-coaching career off on the right foot. (He took over the program Tuesday on an interim basis after third-year head coach Brady Lock resigned.)
• Also in the small-school ranks, breakout performances were had by Coast Union running back Sam Rivera (118 yards and two scores on 15 carries) and North County Christian receiver Daniel Katches (11 receptions for 146 yards and five TDs).
So, now that a week of league games are in the books, what do you think? Or is it too premature to draw any conclusions or cast any predictions? Also, if you like, don’t forget to check out our online photo galleries of this week’s games HERE.
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