The La Quinta Blackhawks knew a long trip to face a tough team like St. Bonaventure of Ventura would be a difficult night, but the Blackhawks still worked hard to make a game of the non-league varsity football match.
St. Bonavenrture hit for some big plays to overcome some sloppiness on the field Friday in a 35-14 win over La Quinta.
The loss dropped La Quinta to 1-2 in the non-league, with one more tough road game against Roosevelt High School next week in Los Angeles before La Quinta begins Desert Valley League play.
St. Bonaventure High, at times, looked like an efficient and explosive football team during the game at the Ventura College Sportsplex. Chuck Wick and Terrell Vaughn rushed for fourth-quarter touchdowns and St. Bonaventure(3-1) finally pulled away to secure the win.
La Quinta trailed 14-0 at the half and St. Bonaventure scored in the first two minutes of the third quarter for a 21-0 lead. But La Quinta played tough in the second half.
“There were not a lot of positives to be honest,” St. Bonaventure coach Adam Guerra told The Ventura County Star. “Chuck Wick ran hard as usual. That’s a positive for sure. Other than that we made way too many mistakes and we need a lot of people to step up and play better.”
Wick finished with 142 yards rushing, including one touchdown burst of 62 yards in the second half, and quarterback Mason Quandt passed for 305 yards. Despite those numbers, La Quinta found a good rhythm on offense in the third quarter and made the Seraphs battle hard to earn the victory.
Penalties, dropped passes and failing to convert a short field goal because of a high snap from center were some of the Seraphs’ obvious mistakes. One of those penalties erased a second-quarter Quandt TD pass to Vaughn and another penalty took away a big gain that would have given the Seraphs a first-and-goal inside the La Quinta five-yard line.
La Quinta, which was held to minus-16 yards rushing in the first half, came out a different team in the third quarter. The Blackhawks put together 62- and 82-yard scoring drives on their first two possessions, pulling to within 21-14 on Benji Cordova’s one-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Cordova, along with quarterback Andrew Garcia and key gains by Justin Anderson, had the Seraphs defense on its heels for a lot of the second half.
Despite the Seraphs’ struggles on defense in the second half, the St. Bonaventure offense came through when it had to, twice driving 80 yards for touchdowns. Wick capped the second 80-yard march with an 11-yard run off right tackle to put the Seraphs in front 28-14.
On La Quinta’s next offensive series, the Seraphs defense stiffened and and took over on downs when St. Bonaventure’s Aidan Kistler sacked Garcia for a 12-yard loss on fourth down.
The Seraphs took possession at the La Quinta 37 following the sack and quickly drove the distance in five plays. Vaughn scored the touchdown, racing 10 yards into the end zone on a flanker reverse.
Keith Kropp of The Ventura County Star contributed to this report.