FOOTBALL: Killer B's lead Santiago over King
FOOTBALL: 'Killer B's' lead Santiago over King
BY ERIC-PAUL JOHNSON / STAFF WRITER
Blake Barnett broke his school record with 498 passing yards, and Brenden Bixler set records with 13 catches for 291 yards as the Sharks held off Riverside King, 49-35, to remain undefeated in the Big VIII League.
Santiago (5-2, 2-0 in league) finished with 649 yards of total offense. Barnett threw three touchdowns passes and added a pair of touchdowns on the ground.
"Blake turned in another near-flawless game, and the receivers are running great routes and making big catches," Santiago coach Jeff Steinberg said. "And the offensive line deserves a lot of credit for those numbers."
Santiago raced to a 21-0 lead during the first quarter.Mason Hale and Barnett each scored on the ground, and Barnett tossed a 52-yard score to Bixler late in the quarter.
Bixler, a 5-foot-7 slot receiver, was having a somewhat quiet night before the touchdown. Bixler and Barnett later connected on plays of 60, 50 and 51 yards. The 50-yarder went for a score and the 60-yarder set one up.
"Blake and I have had a connection since our freshman year," said Bixler, who leads the area in receptions. "It's special to have both of us break records in the same game."
Woody Brandom was another receiver who stung Kingâs defense throughout the game. The offensive lineman-turned-tight end had eight receptions for 128 yards, with many of those catches leading to crucial first downs.
"I think Blake has really developed a strong chemistry with all of his receivers this year," Steinberg said. "They're all new starters, but the connection is really beginning to show."
King (3-4, 0-2) started sluggishly on offense, going three-and-out on its first two drives. But the unit eventually found a rhythm, and the Wolves made the game competitive.
Santiago looked to be in complete control entering the final quarter with a 49-21 lead.Devin Moeller scored on a 4-yard run at the start of the period, and Brad Kleventhrew a 27-yard scoring pass to Terrell Bowie with 4:34 remaining to cut the deficit to 49-35.
"Hats off to King, Coach (Kevin) Corridan and his staff," Steinberg said. "They didn't have one player quit at all during that entire game."
Santiago's offense had trouble sealing the victory in the final quarter, so the defense handled the honors when Nathan Acosta intercepted Kleven with 1:41 left to play.
Ben Garcia led King's offensive attack with 194 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.