WATSONVILLE — It was a meat and potatoes kind of game for the Watsonville High Wildcatz at home on Friday night in their Monterey Bay League Pacific division opener.

Watsonville’s run game feasted and their defense devoured the North Monterey County High Condors, leading to a 35-7 victory and a fast start to league play.

The Wildcatz (4-1, 1-0) were led on the ground by senior running back Evan Delozier, who closed the first drive of the game with a 4-yard rushing touchdown then later broke off a 42-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter, as Watsonville rolled over N.M.C. (1-4, 0-1).

“The blocks were there, the line was perfect, everything was perfect about it,” Delozier said. “We just ran the ball down their throat the whole game.”

By contrast, N.M.C. relied on an air attack, which in short spurts shone brightly. Junior quarterback Joseph Bertao connected with junior receiver Isaiah Solorio throughout the game.

“We did it in all three phases of the game,” Watsonville head coach Ron Myers said, making special reference to junior kicker Diego Moreno, who was a perfect 5-of-5 on extra point attempts. “Everybody did their job.”

N.M.C. could complete passes, but not drives. At least not until the very end when Bertao ran in for the Condors’ lone score from the 1-yard line with two minutes left on a running clock.

“Bertao was a pretty good athlete and he got loose a few times early that hurt us,” Myers said. “After that, our defensive line did a great job keeping him contained. When you hold a good quarterback their entire offense freezes.”

Otherwise, the Wildcatz contained N.M.C., forcing three failed fourth down conversions, a Bertao fumble and an interception returned for a 97-yard touchdown by senior safety Brayden Arnold, who flipped into the end zone to complete the score.

“I had to flip in or I would have been out at the 2-yard line,” Arnold said. “Our defense has heart. I expect us to do some big things this year.”

It was a contest not only of league opponents but differing styles of offense. Watsonville senior quarterback Isaac Baltazar attempted only two passes, as running backs Delozier, Juan Valenzuela, who tacked on a 7-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter, and junior Matthew Barcelo led the way.

“He’s a beast,” Myers said of Delozier. “On that long touchdown run on the side, a guy came up, but Delozier just crushed the kid. He’s only going to get better; he’s only just figuring it out now.”

Delozier would finish the game with three touchdowns rushing, his last coming in the third quarter as the N.M.C. defense stiffened as the game progressed.

“The offensive line did a good job in the first half,” Myers said of Watsonville’s ground-and-pound running mentality.

The Wildcatz hit the road next week to take on the Alisal High Trojans, who have stumbled out of the gate, losing 39-19 to Gilroy High in their league opener.

N.M.C. will head up to the Garlic City to play the Christopher High Cougars, who whooped up on the Pajaro Valley High Grizzlies, 46-8.  

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