North Monterey County High will play its first game on its brand new all-weather turf field on Friday night, welcoming in Pajaro Valley High for a Monterey Bay League Pacific division battle on homecoming night.
Because of construction to the stadium, the Condors have not played on the school’s campus since Nov. 7, 2015. With that being taken into consideration, expect N.M.C. (1-5, 0-2) to come out firing against P.V. (1-5, 0-2).
The Condors, coached by Sean Gomes, have lost three straight since their first and only win of the season against Marina High on Sept. 8 at Monterey Peninsula College. All three defeats, coming against Carmel High, Watsonville High and, last week, Christopher High, have been very one-sided and tough to swallow — the closest loss was a 35-7 rout against Watsonville.
But youthful N.M.C. will have a very good shot of notching its first league win this week against an equally young P.V. squad that has also struggled through the first half of its season.
The Grizzlies, coached by Kevin Cordova, are fresh off rough back-to-back MBL-Pacific division losses against Christopher and Monterey High. Offensively, P.V. has shown some flashes of skill with senior receiver Diego Navarro on sweeps and junior running back Mauricio Suarez up the gut but it has not been enough to make up for the team’s overall inexperience.
The yearly series between the two squads has been dominated by one program. N.M.C. has won all but two of the previous 11 meetings. Last year’s game was close early but the Condors wound up winning 36-14.
N.M.C. is ranked 926th in the state and P.V. sits at 1,011th, according to the MaxPreps.com state rankings.
Here’s a look at the rest of the action happening this weekend:
• Monte Vista Christian vs Alvarez, Friday at 7:30 p.m. — The Monte Vista Christian Mustangs will be celebrating homecoming on Friday night against Alvarez High and also trying to bounce back after a heartbreaking Monterey Bay League Gabilan division loss last week to San Benito High.
Led by senior quarterback Sean White’s massive four-touchdown night, M.V.C. (3-2, 1-1) nearly knocked off the Haybalers at home but ultimately fell into a tie for second place in the MBL-Gabilan division with a 36-29 loss.
White, who has 11 passing touchdowns and three rushing scores on the year, will have to continue his impressive season this week to keep the Mustangs on pace with the top teams in the league.
Alvarez (2-3, 0-2) has lost its last three games but all three have been against teams ranked within the top 310 teams in the state, according to the MaxPreps.com rankings. Last week, the Eagles trailed the five-time defending MBL-Gabilan division champ, Palma High, 7-0 at the half before falling 21-0.
The Mustangs (478th), coached by Bruce Dini, are ranked ahead of the Eagles (591st), coached by Brad Mendes, in the MaxPreps.com state rankings, have a better overall and league record and have thoroughly outscored (152-79) them up to this point of the season. Yet, none of that will matter when Alvarez comes to town on Friday night looking to spoil M.V.C.’s homecoming.
• St. Francis vs Harbor (at Watsonville High), Friday at 7:30 p.m. — The St. Francis High Sharks have rolled through their first two games of Mission Trail Athletic League Coastal division action and will look to do the same on Friday night against Harbor High at Emmett M. Geiser Field in Watsonville.
The Sharks (5-1, 2-0), coached by John Ausman, have outscored league opponents 59-13 in two games en route to a perfect start to their inaugural season in the MTAL-Coastal division.
Harbor (1-5, 0-2), meanwhile, has not had the same results. The Pirates, coached by James Gaynor, have lost five straight, including their first two league games against Greenfield High and Soquel High by a combined score of 99-36.
The St. Francis defense has been as good as its ever been this season, allowing only 6.7 points per game and recording at least one takeaway in all six games.
The Sharks’ offense as also been solid thanks to several playmakers. Behind a sizable offensive line, six players have rushed for 100 yards or more this season and nine have scored a rushing touchdown.
St. Francis is ranked 655th in the state and Harbor is ranked 1,028th, according to the MaxPreps.com state rankings.
• Aptos vs North Salinas, Friday at 7:30 p.m. — Dating back to 2011, Aptos High has won 34 straight league games. The Mariners will try to push that streak to 35 on Friday night against North Salinas High on homecoming.
Coached by Randy Blankenship, Aptos (3-2, 2-0) has shown no sign of slowing since joining the Monterey Bay League Gabilan division after a six-year reign of dominance in the now defunct Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League. Led by a stout running attack, the Mariners blew out five-time defending MBL-Gabilan division champ Palma High two weeks ago and last year’s MBL-Pacific division champ Seaside High last week. They put up 35 points in a half against Palma and 49 points over four quarters against Seaside.
Now North Salinas (1-4, 0-2) will get its shot at stopping the big blue machine. The Vikings, coached by Darren Spence, have lost three straight games since their first and only win of the year over Mountain View High on Sept. 1. Last week, Salinas High scored 48 points on North Salinas while amassing 522 yards of offense.
The Vikings struggled stopping the Cowboys’ running attack, allowing 350 yards on the ground on 55 carries. That bodes well for Aptos, which last week ran all over Seaside en route to five rushing scores.
The Mariners junior running back Marcos Reyes ran for two scores in last week’s win. Reyes has scored a rushing touchdown in four of five games this season and has eight rushing scores in total.
Aptos is ranked 203rd in the state, while North Salinas ranks 713th in California, according to the MaxPreps.com state rankings.