Monte Vista Christian junior Daniel Castillo has helped the Mustangs to a 4-0 record in league play. They currently sit at the top of the Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission division. (Juan Reyes — The Pajaronian)

1. M.V.C. (6-1, 4-0): The Mustangs proved why they’re the top team in the PV Sports Football Power Rankings with a smashing win against Alisal High last week in Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission division play. 

Senior running back Quinn Alexander recorded two touchdowns. Junior running back Brendan Doyle added two touchdowns for the Monte Vista Christian.

Doyle, a transfer from Gilroy High, has had an immediate impact on both sides of the ball for M.V.C.  

The Mustangs have won five straight games, including four on the road.

Up next, M.V.C. hits the road to take on North Salinas High (0-7, 0-3) in league action.

Since 2012, the Mustangs have defeated the Vikings  in four straight meetings, including last year’s 30-7 home win.

2. Aptos (4-3, 3-1): The Mariners are coming off a second bye week this season after their game with Gilroy High was canceled due to a forfeit by the Mustangs. 

Aptos High was going to replace the game with a matchup against Hilmar High but that was called off. 

The Mariners have three games left on the schedule — at home tonight against Christopher High (1-7, 1-4), on the road at Palma High and finally at home against Salinas High.

Aptos coach Randy Blankenship had an extra week to get the Mariners prepared and focused on the task ahead: a PCAL-Gabilan title.

It’s time for senior running backs Josh Powell and Vaughen Holland to really step up at a time when Blankenship needs them the most. 

3. N.M.C. (6-2, 3-1): North Monterey County High took a step back after a loss to Santa Cruz High in last week’s PCAL-Cypress game.

The Condors’ defense gave up 33 points, which was the second-highest total this season. They allowed 40 against M.V.C on Sept. 6 in non-league action. 

Senior quarterback Brandon Ducusin showed a lot of heart, bringing N.M.C. back to within a score in the fourth quarter against the Cardinals. Still, the Condors’ offense faced the quickest defense it’s seen all year long. 

The Condors are on a bye week before they take on King City High (4-3, 1-2) on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. 

N.M.C. lost last year’s league game against Mustangs, 21-16.

4. St. Francis (4-3, 2-1): The Sharks have won two straight games coming out of the bye week. They are still hanging around for a shot at a PCAL Santa Lucia division title.

Stevenson School (4-2, 2-1) suffered its first league loss of the season but Pacific Grove High remains undefeated (4-3, 3-0) in PCAL-Santa Lucia play. 

But first, St. Francis will hit the road to try to get past Greenfield High (2-5, 2-1), which has a group of running backs that have a combined 12 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.   

The Sharks continue PCAL-Santa Lucia action against the Bruins tonight. 

St. Francis is 3-3 lifetime against Greenfield. The Sharks defeated the Bruins two years ago, 42-13.

5. Pajaro Valley (1-6, 1-2): Yes, the Grizzlies lost against Watsonville High at the beginning of the season but that was then. 

This team can beat the Wildcatz if they went head-to-head this week. But that’s not the case.

Instead, the Grizzlies will hit the road to take on Pacific Grove High (4-3, 3-0) in league play.

It’s their first meeting since 2012. The Breakers won, 41-21. The Grizzlies are 1-3 lifetime against Pacific Grove.

Junior running back and defensive back Martin Gonzalez has been a spark for the Grizzlies, who will try to close out the season on a strong note.

Gonzalez had more than 200 yards on the ground with a pair of touchdowns last week. On defense, he scooped and scored on a 45-yard fumble and had an interception late in the fourth quarter.

6. Watsonville (2-5, 0-3): The Wildcatz are struggling to get anything going right now on both sides of the ball. 

The flame is slowly starting to run out on their season full of miscues, blown assignments, key injuries, unnecessary penalties and ineffective play at the line — both offensive and defensive lines. 

Watsonville is averaging 8.3 points per game in three league games played, while the defense is giving up 31.3 points per game.

The Wildcatz have three games left on the schedule — Saturday at San Lorenzo Valley High (1-7, 0-4), on the road at Gonzales High and at home against long-time rival Santa Cruz.


Editor’s Note:This article will be published in the Oct. 25 edition of The Pajaronian.

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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