Stockdale junior Marcus Mota came into the season as one of the favorites to win the Central Section Division I boys cross country championship.

Mota ran in midseason form Saturday as he won the boys junior/senior 4.5k title at the Morro Bay XC Invitational.

Mota’s time of 15:52.08 bested Pablo Cortes of Paso Robles by six seconds.

McFarland senior Seth Diaz (16:05.21) finished in fourth place, and Liberty junior Joseph Mikhail (16:22.89) finished sixth in a field of 264 runners.

Two Stockdale seniors finished in the top six on the girls side: Alexandra Cholometes (19:26.02) was third and Sarah Hartshorn (20:04.11) sixth.

McFarland junior Dede Salcedo (19:43.42) finished fifth.

Barnes shines

UCLA sophomore linebacker Krys Barnes, a Liberty graduate, had a career day in the Bruins’ 56-23 victory over Hawaii on Saturday.

Barnes came off the bench to record a game-high 12 tackles for the Bruins.

Rufus ejected

Nevada junior safety Asauni Rufus was ejected midway through the first quarter in the Wolf Pack’s 37-24 loss to Toledo on Saturday.

Rufus, a Bakersfield High product, was called for targeting on a hit on Toledo’s Jordan Fisher.

A flag was not thrown on the play, but the replay official reviewed the play and Rufus was automatically ejected, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“It’s very unfortunate to me,” Nevada coach Jay Norvell told the Gazette-Journal. “With the intent of that foul, I don’t know how you call it the the way they did. I don’t know how you can. There are probably 30 plays in that game that were exactly the same.”

Since the ejection came in the first half, Rufus can return for the start of Saturday’s home game against Idaho State.

Experienced Taylor

Garces graduate Keoni Taylor is the starting center for San Jose State and helps form one of the most experienced lines in the country.

Together, the five starters for SJSU have started 137 games, the most in FBS football.

Taylor, a senior, will make his 32nd start on Saturday at Utah.

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