For the first time in this rivalry, Bishop Diego has three straight wins over Carpinteria in the Little Big Game. Abel Gonzalez scored two second-half rushing touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 24-6 win in front of an estimated seven thousand fans at Santa Barbara City College.
Trailing 6-0 late in the second quarter, Bishop Diego went on an 88-yard scoring drive capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Gabe Molina to Thomas Lash. The extra point gave the Cardinals the lead for good. They tacked on a field goal on the final play of the half to lead 10-6 at the break.
Gonzalez broke free on a 34-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 17-6.
Carpinteria had two costly turnovers in the fourth quarter. Bishop Diego stopped a drive when Gonzalez recovered a fumble and then John “Cowboy” Samson intercepted a pass. The Cardinals cashed in the second turnover with a 5-yard touchdown run by Gonzalez who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
After a scoreless first quarter, Carpinteria scored the game’s first touchdown on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ian Craddock to Peter Ramos. But that is all the Cardinals would allow as their defense has now given up just a total of 25 points in six games this year.
The game was the Tri-Valley League opener for both teams who were undefeated in the non-league season. The Cardinals are now 6-0 on the year and should remain ranked No.1 in the CIF Northwest Division. Carpinteria, who entered ranked 4th in the same division, fell to 6-1 overall.