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Hancock’s running is too much for Vaqueros, 48-14

Freshman QB Franco De Luca threw the first 2 TDs of his college career. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Freshman QB Franco De Luca threw the first 2 TDs of his college career. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Hancock rushed for 347 yards and six touchdowns on Saturday to turn back SBCC 48-14 in an American Pacific League game at Bulldog Stadium in Santa Maria.

It was the sixth straight win for the Bulldogs (7-1, 3-0), who are ranked 20th in the state and No. 2 in the American Division. The Vaqueros fell to 1-7 and 0-3.

The Bulldogs had two 100-yard runners in Ryheem Skinner (19 for 110 yards, 1 TD) and Jayden Vargas (16 for 101 yards, 2 TD).

Bulldogs rushed 54 times for 347 yards and held the Vaqueros to minus 20 on the ground. Hancock is No. 1 in the state in rushing, averaging 304.6 yards with 33 touchdowns.

Santa Barbara intercepted Hancock quarterback Steven Schouten three times in the first 1½ quarters. The interceptions came from Nakota Shepard-Creer, Tyree Barton and Chase Elliott.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hancock took over on the SBCC 12 after punter Martin Ahlstroem fumbled a snap and lost 15 yards. Four plays later, Vargas scored from the 1 for a 7-0 lead.

Elliott intercepted a pass in the backfield and returned it 24 yards to the Hancock 21. A horse-collar tackle penalty moved the ball to the 11. On second down, left-hander Franco De Luca threw his first college TD pass, an 11-yard hookup with Nick Foster to tie it at 7.

The Bulldogs struck back quickly, covering 75 yards in three plays plus a personal foul penalty. Skinner ran up the right side for a 34-yard TD and the PAT kick was wide left, leaving the Bulldogs ahead 13-7 with 5:30 to go in the first half.

De Luca had his best game of the year, completing 14-of-28 for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Foster caught eight passes for  81 yards and TDs of 11 and 23 yards.

After leading 13-7 at halftime, Hancock won the second half by a 35-7. The Vaqueros were 2-15 on third-down conversions and the Bulldogs were 5-10.

Issac Lopez had a season-high 17 tackles for Santa Barbara while linebacker Andreas Buri had 13 tackles and recovered a fumble. Buri made a good solo tackle at the 1 on a pass to Eddie Battle, preventing a Hancock touchdown at the end of the first half.

The Vaqueros will play their last two games at home, taking on Santa Monica next Saturday at 1 p.m. and Pasadena City on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m.