Monte Vista Christian senior receiver Nicolas Jimenez runs past a Santa Clara High defender during the teams' non-league game on Sept. 1 in Watsonville. The Mustangs won 57-26. (Chris Mora/The Pajaronian)

Monte Vista Christian football team was back in action for Friday Night Lights at Mustangs Stadium and boy did it put on a show for the home crowd.

The Mustangs lit up the scoreboard with a 57-26 thumping win over Santa Clara in non-league action, bolting them to a 2-0 overall record to begin the season.

MVC first-year head coach Spencer Ferrari-Wood said the game meant a lot not only to the team but to the school’s community.

The Mustangs went through a scary moment in their season opener against Los Altos when junior lineman Taylor Fernandez lost consciousness on the field, delaying the game for about one hour. 

“He is awake and doing better but still recovering,” Ferrari-Wood said. “It made us feel good that he was watching us on the live stream.” 

After an exciting come-from-behind, 20-13, overtime victory against Los Altos on Aug. 26, MVC hoped to give its fans a similar performance. 

Instead, they exploded for 50-plus points and scored the most points since putting up 64 against Del Mar High in 2012.

It was an offensive parade early for the Mustangs. Junior quarterback Dominic Pierini hit junior running back Max Torres for a 25-yard touchdown pass that gave them a 9-0 lead after a failed 2-point conversion attempt. 

Pierini shined bright in front of the home crowd as he finished the evening with more than 250 yards passing and four touchdowns for MVC.

“Dominic was on fire, he made some great plays and great decisions on the field for us,” Ferrari-Wood said. “He is a grinder and is always working on getting better.”

The Mustangs’ defense also put on a show with two early interceptions in the first quarter. 

“Our defense was on fire early, made some big plays and followed our assignments. We just have to finish games better,” Ferrari -Wood said.

MVC capitalized after the defense intercepted the ball for a third time in the early minutes of the second quarter. Nico Downie extended their lead to 16-0 after a nifty catch-and-run to get into the end zone. 

MVC’s offense couldn’t be stopped in the first half as it continued scoring at will. A 48-yard touchdown run by Connor Pallott gave them a 29-6 lead going into halftime.

It didn’t take long in the second half for MVC to get back on the scoreboard after Downie returned an 80-yard kickoff for a touchdown to start the third quarter and Pierini tossed the second of his four TDs on the night.   

After allowing just six points in the first half, the Mustangs gave up 20 in the final two stanzas. Santa Clara chipped away at the deficit with a 10-yard and 3-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Mustangs’ firepower. 

“We got to learn how to finish games better, I told them I was frustrated, we have to do better but we will take everything in and use it and learn from it,” Ferrari-Wood said. 

The Mustangs put a stamp on the victory with a quick 5-yard pass from Pierini to Nicolas Jimenez en route to a 57-26 win. 

MVC (2-0) will attempt to keep its undefeated streak alive as its hosts Rancho San Juan High (1-1) on Friday at 7:30pm. 

“It was a great team win, we are really putting the puzzle together,” Ferrari-Wood said. “We have another tough one at home next week. Whenever you get teams from Salinas you know it’s going to be a good one” Ferrari- Wood said. 

Mitty 41, Aptos 28: Jordan Torres finished with 147 yards rushing on 17 carries and one touchdown for the Mariners in a non-league loss to the Monarchs on Sept. 1. 

Torres also had an interception that was returned for a TD, while fellow teammate Lawrence Ingram IV contributed 95 yards on 14 carries and a pair of touchdowns for Aptos.

The Mariners (0-2) will attempt to bounce back on their trip to San Luis Obispo to take on Mission College Prep (1-1) in non-league action on Friday at 7pm.  

Watsonville 12, Pajaro Valley 0: Junior quarterback Nathaniel Aguilar tossed a pair of touchdowns for the Wildcatz to help retain the Belgard Kup for a seventh consecutive season following a non-league win over cross-town rival Grizzlies on Sept. 1.

Aguilar connected with junior receiver Patrick Miller-Brown on a 14-yard touchdown that gave Watsonville a 6-0 lead going into halftime.

The ‘Catz sealed the deal after Aguilar’s pass attempt to sophomore receiver Luis Marquez was tipped in the air and snatched by senior Devin Navarro for the TD reception.

With the win, Watsonville owns a 16-2 record over Pajaro Valley in the battle for the Kup.

Watsonville (1-1) will play at Menlo School (2-0) on Saturday at 2pm, while the Grizzlies (0-2) will try to get back on track against Pacific Grove (2-0) on Saturday at 12:30pm.    

St. Francis 14, Stevenson 6: Senior Pedro Ibarra recorded a touchdown reception and an interception on defense for the Sharks in their non-league win over the Pirates on Sept. 2. 

Ibarra caught a pass from junior quarterback Javier Fonseca that gave St. Francis a 6-0 lead going into halftime.

In the third, senior quarterback Justin Diniz scored a 2-yard rushing touchdown for Stevenson that tied the game at 6-all. 

The Sharks retook the lead in the fourth quarter after senior running back Gavin Valencia made his way into the end zone en route to a 14-6 victory.

St. Francis (1-1) will host Greenfield (2-0) on Saturday at noon. 

*Additional reporting by sports editor Juan Reyes

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