SALINAS—The Monte Vista Christian football team had to play until the final whistle to stun previously unbeaten Alisal High on Thursday night.
The Mustangs scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and made a defensive stop on the final play of the game en route to a 20-13 non-league win over the Trojans.
“You gotta stop the run when you’re playing Alisal,” MVC coach JB Williams said. “We just continued to play good defense and we got a lot of opportunities.”
The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for the Mustangs, who went winless in the Pacific Coast Athletic League’s Gabilan Division and dropped their final eight games in 2021.
Thursday night’s win was also dedicated to sophomore fullback and linebacker Max Torres, who broke his leg in last week’s loss against Santa Teresa.
Players signed a game ball that will be presented to him after his surgery, which took place Thursday.
“Always gave it his all, he’s one of those guys that’s a perfect student-athlete the other coach wants,” Williams said.
After Torres’ injury, Williams said it became an emphasis that everyday is not promised and they had to take advantage of any given moment.
“I think a sense of urgency hit our kids,” Williams said. “It was nice to see our kids come together. This was a smash mouth, three yards and a cloud of dust football.”
Alisal—which competes in the PCAL’s Gabilan Division—held a 7-0 lead on the first of two Diego Chaidez touchdown runs. His second score of the night gave the Trojans a 13-7 lead with 5:34 left in the third quarter.
The Trojans milked the clock in the first half and allowed the Mustangs to run just 12 plays on offense. Williams said it was exactly what Alisal wanted to do.
MVC starting quarterback Kyle Recotta had one of his passes tipped in the air for an interception, while Brandon Swing lost a fumble after a 25-yard reception. Williams said those two mistakes were opportunities lost.
Williams went back and forth between quarterbacks with Recotta and Dominic Pierini, who took advantage of taking over under center in the second half.
Pierini led the Mustangs to their first scoring drive on the third play to begin the second half, connecting with receiver Jonny Ledesma for a 75-yard touchdown reception.
In the fourth, Pierini found receiver Jaiden Cote on a 45-yard touchdown pass that gave the Mustangs a 14-13 lead.
“We were finally moving the ball, I felt like this new offense is finally starting to gain a little momentum,” Williams said.
Shortly later, Pierini drove the Mustangs down to Alisal’s 1-yard line to set up a scoring opportunity.
Recotta capped off the drive by scoring the go-ahead touchdown with four minutes left.
The Trojans blocked the extra point attempt to keep the game within reach at 20-13. Williams said at that point it was a matter of holding Alisal from marching down the field again.
MVC was hit with a pass interference penalty with 17 seconds left in the game. The Trojans took a shot to the corner of the end zone, but Swing was there to prevent the game-winning reception.
“I wish I could tell you one person who stood out but when you’re playing the way we were playing it was an entire team effort,” Williams said.
Week 3 Scoreboard
MVC 20, Alisal 13
St. Francis 14, Greenfield 10
North Monterey County vs. Monterey, 7pm at Monterey Peninsula College
Watsonville vs. Scotts Valley, 7pm
Aptos vs. Mission College Prep, 7:30pm
Pajaro Valley at Pacific Grove, 7:30pm