All eyes were on the quarterbacks when Santa Paula lined up against Trabuco Hills in a Southern Section Division VIII playoff game Friday, and with good reason. Trabuco Hills quarterback David Lowery has thrown for more than 2,500 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, and Santa Paula’s Rick Carpenter has passed for more than 2,300 yards and 21 touchdowns.
But someone should have been watching the Trabuco Hills defense. The Mustangs intercepted Carpenter 5 times and Lowery directed Trabuco Hills past Santa Paula, 42-7, in front of 2,300 at Santa Paula High.
Cornerback Jeff Johnson intercepted Carpenter’s first pass of the game. And things did not improve much for the Cardinal quarterback. Mustang safety Greg Hughes intercepted Carpenter and ran 25 yards for a touchdown with 5 seconds left in the first quarter to put Trabuco Hills ahead by 2 touchdowns.
Linebacker Julian Ford intercepted Carpenter at the Mustang 20-yard line in the second quarter to stop the Cardinals’ only serious threat in the first half.
Lowery, who completed 12 of 27 passes for 161 yards, tossed his only touchdown pass of the game on a 20-yard strike to Ford in the second quarter that gave Trabuco Hills (10-2) a 28-0 halftime lead.
Defensive back Tim Manning intercepted Carpenter in the third quarter for his 10th interception of the season and he scored on a 60-yard punt return for the Mustangs in the second quarter. Manning also was the leading receiver with 6 catches for 80 yards.
“Adrian Lomas, Robert Luna, and Jim Farbaniec pressured the quarterback all game,” Trabuco Hills Coach Jim Barnett said. “That pressure, the interceptions and the punt return is what led us to the win.”
Running back Blaine Parks scored the first Mustang touchdown on a 3-yard run in the first quarter and the last Mustang score on a 4-yard run with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.