GILROY — Boo.
Halloween came early for Watsonville High, which had no tricks and certainly got no treats Friday night in Gilroy. The Wildcatz were thumped by the Christopher High Cougars 42-14 in a Monterey Bay League Pacific division game.
Next to nothing went right for Watsonville (5-3, 2-2). On the third play of the game, Cougars senior Ethan Crawford took a handoff through the left side of the line for a 65-yard rushing touchdown. Four unanswered touchdown drives later, Christopher (7-2, 3-2) led 28-0.
By the time Watsonville senior quarterback Isaac Baltazar connected with Juan Valenzuela for a short touchdown pass, the game was well out of reach.
Unfortunately for the ‘Catz, so might their playoff hopes.
“They were at their best and we didn’t step it up,” said Watsonville head coach Ron Myers.
Christopher’s high-powered, precision passing attack led by junior quarterback Ben Sanford was clicking on all cylinders the entire game. The Cougars’ offense was so efficient that it was only stopped twice.
The Wildcatz’s offense was as ineffective as Christopher’s was prolific. Watsonville didn’t gain a first down until their scoring drive late in the second quarter.
The Wildcatz were riding high after a 41-14 victory over Monterey High the week before and the Cougars were coming off consecutive losses, a lopsided loss to crosstown rival Gilroy High and a close defeat to Alisal High last week.
The Cougars were salty and it showed. Christopher piled on the points and dished out many hard hits, including one that severely injured Watsonville senior Johnny Bravo.
“They played a little upset tonight,” said Christopher head coach Tim Pierleoni. “When you lose two games in a row, that’s a bad taste and they wanted to get it out.”
The Wildcatz’s only other score came courtesy of senior running back Evan Delozier when the contest was well beyond control.
“It’s still a game of blocking and tackling and we didn’t do either very well, it’s simple,” Myers said. “We didn’t do a very good job on defense; we missed a lot of things. They did things a lot better than we did tonight.”
Watsonville was using a new piece of replay technology on the sidelines that enabled the Wildcatz to immediately view replays as soon as plays ended. While the new gadget didn’t change the outcome of the game, it gave Myers immediate feedback about what went wrong. The challenge now is to fix the issues to salvage a glimpse of playoff hopes.
“Often we say we need to watch the film; not now,” Myers said. “We already saw it and it was ugly.”
Watsonville will come back to Santa Cruz County next weekend to play the struggling Pajaro Valley High Grizzlies at Cabrillo College in the 11th annual Belgard Kup Game.