Week 11: Carlsbad Lancers 26, Vista Panthers 14
In the final week of the regular season, the Carlsbad Lancers solidified themselves as one of the top teams in the county after defeating the Vista Panthers, 26-14, at home.
Carlsbad (9-1, 6-0), already Avocado League champions, came in looking to defeat its rival in front of a raucous home crowd.
It seemed like it would be an easy day for the Lancers, needing only 47 seconds on their opening drive when DJ Young scored on a 36-yard touchdown run.
Vista (7-3, 5-0) answered right back when quarterback Travis Bennett connected with Ugochi Ochi on an 11-yard score.
The Panthers, the Palomar League champs, had upset on their minds. Their bruising rushing attack and solid defense had them ahead on the Lancers in the second half.
Vista running back Desmond Taua scored on an 18 yard run in the third quarter to put the Panthers ahead 14-10.
Vista’s Colby Rafail would intercept Aidan Sayin later in the quarter, positioning the Panthers to extend the lead.
The Panthers would end up missing a field goal, which led to Young scoring on a 20-yard reception to give the Lancers the lead.
In the fourth, senior captain Cole Wright scored on an 18-yard touchdown reception to extend the Lancers’ lead 23-14.
A couple of sacks by Drake Miller and a field goal would officially put the game out of reach.
Despite the loss, Vista looks to be a real threat for a Division II title.
Carlsbad has quietly been one of the best teams in the county. With this win, it should qualify for the Open Division. With Helix a virtual lock for the one-seed, it will come down to Carlsbad, Cathedral, Saints and Steele Canyon for the final three spots.