The St. Francis High football team had a slim chance of capturing this year’s Pacific Coast Athletic League title going into Friday night’s game against Stevenson School.
But that didn’t stop the Sharks from going all-out in a 35-21 win against the Pirates (5-3, 3-2) in league action.
St. Francis coach John Ausman said all the credit goes to the offensive and defensive lines.
Isaiah Gonzalez, David Moreno, Logan Manson, Josh Alvarez, Diego Gomez and tight end Kodiak Ortiz were the big boys doing the work. Ausman said they executed well and dominated up front.
“They stepped up to the occasion and it was awesome to see,” Ausman said.
Sophomore running back Johrdan Garibay bulldozed his way into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter.
Senior tight end/fullback Lawson Orradre extended the lead to 14-7 with 1:33 left before halftime.
Sophomore Garrett Lee had an interception just before the break but the Sharks failed to capitalize on the turnover.
Orradre finished with 131 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries and also made three receptions for 19 yards.
Junior Josh Hernandez had 133 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Garibay finished with 38 yards rushing and a touchdown on eight carries.
Junior Pedro Valencia had 32 yards rushing and a touchdown on seven carries.
“They all had great games but it never would’ve taken place if it weren’t for those O-line guys,” Ausman said.
Senior Joey Garibay, who was also named homecoming king, had a catch for 17 yards. Lee made 5-of-5 extra point attempts and an interception on defense.
Up next, the Sharks (6-3, 4-1) will play their season finale against Harbor High at Santa Cruz High on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Grove High (6-3, 5-0) clinched the PCAL Santa Lucia with its win against Greenfield High (3-7, 3-3).
Ausman said the final game will be a time to celebrate the seniors but they also want to get better as the season closes.
“There’s that continuous growth you want to see and we’ve done that since losing to Pacific Grove,” Ausman said. “Let’s finish off continuing to build and become the team we want to be when we look back and can be proud of.”
M.V.C. 41, North Salinas 12: The Mustangs extended their winning streak to six straight games in a crushing win over the Vikings on Friday in PCAL Mission division action.
Senior Andrew Montoya finished with a rushing touchdown and also played well on defense.
Junior Brendan Doyle split the duties at running back and quarterback, while senior Terrell Brown was a bright spot on defense with two interceptions.
“It was an overall team win,” said M.V.C. coach Jubenal Rodriguez.
The Mustangs improved to 5-0 in PCAL Mission play and they clinched at least a share of the league title. The last time they won a league title was in 2011 when they were tri-champions with North Monterey County High and Monterey High in the now defunct Monterey Bay League.
Up next, the Mustangs have a meeting with Seaside High (8-1, 4-1), which is coming off a 21-12 win against Soledad High and is currently second in the league standings.
Rodriguez said he’s excited to bring back at least a share of the league title to M.V.C. but he knows the players still have their eyes set on winning the title outright.
The Mustangs and Spartans square off on Nov. 9 at Watsonville High with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m.
Pajaro Valley 30, Marina 24: Isaac Oritz made his Grizzlies debut a memorable one in a win against the Mariners on Friday in PCAL Santa Lucia action.
The sophomore fullback had 54 yards and two touchdowns on five carries.
Sophomore running back Nolan Villa had 67 yards on seven carries, while junior Ladis Silva finished with 49 yards on three carries for Pajaro Valley.
The Grizzlies had four players each finish with more than 50 yards rushing.
“We changed it up a lot, gave them a lot of different looks,” said Pajaro Valley coach Kevin Cordova. “They all contributed.”
Junior running back Martin Gonzalez and senior Leo Rocha each had a touchdown for the Grizzlies. Rocha also had the game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter.
“We were struggling until we had that,” Cordova said. “It definitely saved the game for us.”
Junior Daniel Gonzalez also recorded an interception for the Grizzlies.
Cordova said four players suffered ankle injuries in the first half. He said he was thankful for calling up a couple of sophomores to fill in some roster spots.
“I felt like we were rolling until we got guys banged up and we kind of loss some of our continuity,” Cordova said.
Cordova credits Marina for sticking around and causing Grizzlies’ defenders to miss tackles for big plays.
“We gave them just enough hope where they stayed alive and were making some big plays, they almost got us in the end,” Cordova said.
Cordova said they had set some small goals once they realized the playoffs were out of the picture. The first of many was a win against the Mariners.
The Grizzlies improved to 2-3 in PCAL Santa Lucia play. It’s the second time in program history that they’ve won two league games in the same season.
In 2013, they went 2-4 in the now defunct Monterey Bay League Pacific division.
Next up, Pajaro Valley will host Stevenson (5-3, 3-2) at Cabrillo College on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. They have a chance to close out the season with a .500 league record for the first time in the program’s short history.
“If we go out and do what we can do next week then we’ll set our program record with three (wins) and finish the year right,” Cordova said.
King City 20, N.M.C. 16: The Condors were on the verge of pulling off a come-from-behind win on the road against the Mustangs.
But a pass attempt from Brandon Ducusin to Cyrus Coffelt was intercepted with 40 seconds left in the game.
N.M.C. coach Sean Gomes said he believes Friday night was just another game where they dug themselves too deep of a hole from the get-go. He mentioned they committed penalties at the wrong time and were out of position on the defense.
“We looked good but then at times we just stuttered a little bit,” Gomes said.
Gomes said he was mainly frustrated with the penalties, especially the ones that put a halt on some promising drives.
The Condors began the game with a bit of some trickery. The special teams unit recovered an onside kick attempt on the opening kickoff.
The drive was capped off with a 27-yard field goal by Eduardo Hernandez-Marquez.
Senior quarterback Brandon Ducusin connected with junior tight end Chris Villareal on a 20-yard strike for a touchdown just before halftime.
Junior running back Kobe Hatten recorded a 25-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Senior defensive back Riley Anderson recorded an interception for the fifth straight game.
Up next, the Condors (6-3, 3-2) will hit the road to take on Gonzales (6-3, 3-2) in the teams’ season finale on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Gonzales 33, Watsonville 20: The Wildcatz lost a heartbreaker to the Spartans on Friday in PCAL Cypress action.
Junior running backs Nasser Sabla and Josh Rocha each scored a touchdown for Watsonville, which dropped to 0-5 in league play.
Despite the loss, Watsonville coach Ron Myers said it was one of their best performances of the year, so far.
“We had them scared,” he said.
The Wildcatz drew first blood and scored the first touchdown of the game. They built a 20-14 lead in the third quarter and were on track to pull off the upset.
But the Spartans came storming back and took their first lead of the game in the fourth. Jose Lopez scored a touchdown that put Gonzales ahead, 26-20, with four minutes left in the game.
Teto Garcia’s touchdown catch extended the lead and Jayson Flores intercepted a pass to seal the deal for Gonzales.
“It was not having procedure calls,” Myers said. “We’ve just been finding a way to hurt ourselves on those.”
Up next, the Wildcatz (2-7, 0-5) will finish the season at home against long-time rival Santa Cruz High (7-2, 5-0) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.