Friday night’s game against the Christopher High Cougars will be the Watsonville High Wildcatz’s most important contest of the season so far.

A win against Christopher (6-2, 2-2) would not only keep Watsonville (5-2, 2-1) alive in the Monterey Bay League Pacific division title chase but it would also boost their chances of earning their first Central Coast Section playoff berth since 2009.

Getting the win, however, won’t be easy.

Coached by Tim Pierleoni, the Cougars are ranked 370th in the state by and employ an explosive passing attack led by junior quarterback Ben Sanford, who has 1,450 yards passing and 19 touchdowns to only nine interceptions, and junior tight end Jason Scirigione, who has hauled in 11 scores.

Christopher has lost its last two games but is coming off a bye week. They fell to undefeated Gilroy High on Oct. 6 and dropped a heartbreaker to Alisal High in overtime on Oct. 13.

Coached by Ron Myers, Watsonville is coming off its most impressive win of the season. The Wildcatz, ranked 744th in the state by, cruised by Monterey High, 41-21.

Watsonville, which had not played in three weeks before last week’s game, scored five straight touchdowns over the second and third quarters in the dominant showing. The Wildcatz did it with their ground game, which totaled 398 yards rushing.

Senior running back Evan Delozier finished with 175 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while junior running back Matthew Barcelo nearly matched him with 158 yards and one score.

Delozier, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound bruiser with a burst, now has 11 scoring runs on the season.

Watsonville and Christopher have not played since 2014. The Cougars have never lost to the Wildcatz. They hold a 4-0 advantage in the head-to-head series.

Here’s a look at the rest of the action happening this weekend:

• Aptos at Monte Vista Christian, Friday at 7:30 p.m. — Some of the luster around the matchup might have fallen away over the last few weeks but there will still be plenty of fireworks when the Aptos High Mariners and the Monte Vista Christian Mustangs meet in Watsonville for an MBL-Gabilan division game.

It will be the first time since the early ‘00s that the two Santa Cruz County schools will play on the football field and it has been a long awaited game.

Aptos (5-2, 4-0) holds the 8-2 advantage over the M.V.C. (4-4, 2-3) in the all-time series and will enter as the favorite on Friday after its impressive first four weeks of league play.

Coached by Randy Blankenship, the Mariners have won all four of their league contests in blowouts. They beat Palma High, Seaside High, North Salinas High and San Benito High by an average of 28 points. Last week’s 35-12 win against San Benito solidified them as a serious challenger to Salinas High, who has also stormed through the MBL-G to an undefeated league record.

Junior running back Marcos Reyes and senior receiver Blake Wheeler have been stars for Aptos, which is ranked 172nd in the state by Reyes last week scored two more rushing touchdowns to bring his season total to 12 and Wheeler scored three times, hauling in two receiving scores and returning a kickoff for a touchdown.

Coached by Bruce Dini, the Mustangs will have their hands full trying to stop those two playmakers but they also have a handful of difference makers, too.

M.V.C. senior quarterback Sean White has thrown for 1,810 yards and 17 touchdowns this season and junior receivers Nick Bautista and Dan Brierley have been his favorite targets, combining for 1,243 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns.

The last two weeks have not been kind to the Mustangs, who are ranked 502nd in the state by They lost 37-14 to Palma two weeks ago and last week fell 42-16 to Salinas.

• St. Francis at Gonzales, Friday at 7:30 p.m. — The St. Francis High Sharks will try to continue their roll through the Mission Trail Athletic League Coastal division on Friday at Gonzales High despite a long break from the action.

Coached by John Ausman, St. Francis (6-1, 3-0) has not played since its 49-14 win over Harbor High on Oct. 6. They has a bye week last week and two weeks ago had their senior day game postponed because of smoke from the fires in Northern California.

Before the long break, the Sharks, ranked 687th in the state by, had dominantly won four straight, including three league contests. In that streak, St. Francis won by an average of 30 points.

Gonzales (2-6, 2-2), coached by Art Berlanga, has won its last two games against Marina High and Greenfield High. The Spartans, ranked 939th in the state, will be no pushovers with their three running backs, Seth Mays, Payton Flores and Raul Morales, crashing forward and pacing the offense — the trio combined for 364 yards rushing last week against Greenfield High.

St. Francis last played Gonzales in 2015. The Spartans won that game by 34 points and they also won the first-ever meeting the year before by 46.

• Pajaro Valley vs Alisal (at Watsonville High), Friday at 7:30 p.m. — Pajaro Valley High will continue to develop the young talent on its youthful roster on Friday night against an Alisal High team that can taste the playoffs.

Coached by Kevin Cordova, the Grizzlies (1-7, 0-4) have lost four straight. P.V., ranked 1,024th in the state by, has continued to played hard through the tough stretch. Senior defensive lineman and center Irepan Romero and senior receiver and defensive back Diego Navarro have led the team with their commendable effort on every down.

With two games left on the season, junior quarterback Max Arevalo, junior running back Mauricio Suarez and junior lineman Marcos Aguilar will try to lead the rebuilding process heading into the offseason.

Alisal (5-4, 4-1), coached by Cesar Chaidez, has won its last four games and is just one win away from securing at least a second-place finish in the MBL-Pacific division and possibly its first trip to the playoffs since 2012.

Alisal, ranked 535th in the state by, senior quarterback Andrew Marquez has been pieced together an M.V.P.-type season during the winning streak, passing for a handful of touchdowns and running for at least 13 scores.

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