1. M.V.C. (6-1, 4-0): The Mustangs are back from a bye week and still remain at the top of this week’s PV Sports Football Power Rankings.
They are the lone team in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission division with a perfect record in league play. Seaside (7-1, 3-1) lost to Alisal (4-4, 3-1) last week.
Senior quarterback Nathan Renggli along with senior running backs Quinn Alexander and Andrew Montoya are having spectacular seasons. But the addition of Junior running back Brendan Doyle makes this team much more explosive and dangerous as they approach the playoffs.
Doyle, a transfer from Gilroy High, has had an immediate impact on both sides of the ball for M.V.C.
The Mustangs clinched a playoff spot and 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 (5-3, 4-1): The Mariners had no trouble getting back into rhythm in last week’s win against Christopher High. They came off an unscheduled bye week in the middle of the season but that didn’t seem to set them back.
The usual names stepped up for Aptos: senior running backs Josh Powell, Vaughen Holland and Dre Gomez. But the Mariners are also loaded with more offensive weapons such as junior running back Alex Rosas and sophomore quarterback Nick Forbes, who had some zip and accuracy (minus the interception) on his passes in the first half.
The defense looked great except for a couple of big pass plays they gave up to Cougars sophomore receiver Cody Ahola, who managed to break free for a couple of big catches in Mariners’ territory.
Next up, Aptos will hit the road to take on Palma High (6-2, 4-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. and finally the season finale at home against Salinas High (7-1, 5-0) .
Last year, the Mariners lost the regular season game against the Chieftains but got some redemption in the CCS playoffs en route to a section title.
3. N.M.C. (6-2, 3-1): North Monterey County High is coming off a much-needed bye week after the 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.
N.M.C. is loaded with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Senior quarterback Brandon Ducusin is the leader on offense, while senior defensive back Riley Anderson is the heartbeat of the defense.
The Condors should be able to bounce back against King City High (4-4, 1-3) on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Since 2009, N.M.C. is 2-1 against King City. The Condors lost last year’s league game against the Mustangs, 21-16.
4. St. Francis (5-3, 3-1): The Sharks have won three straight games and they are still hanging around for a shot at a PCAL Santa Lucia division title.
Stevenson School (5-2, 2-1) suffered its first league loss of the season but Pacific Grove High remains undefeated (5-3, 4-0) in league play.
First, St. Francis will hit the road to try to get past Greenfield High (3-6, 3-2), which has a group of running backs that have a combined 15 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.
The Sharks continue PCAL-Santa Lucia action against the Bruins on Friday at 7:30 p.m..
St. Francis is 3-3 lifetime against Greenfield. The Sharks defeated the Bruins two years ago, 42-13.
5. Pajaro Valley (1-7, 1-3): The Grizzlies came up flat in last week’s game against Pacific Grove. It was the third time they’ve been shut out this season.
Junior running back and defensive back Martin Gonzalez has been the go-to guy all year long but it’s time for others to step up in the final two games of the season.
They’ll begin with Marina High (1-7, 1-3) at Monterey Peninsula College on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
It’s the third meeting between both teams. Pajaro Valley won the first game, while Marina won last year’s contest, 20-12.
6. Watsonville (2-6, 0-4): The Wildcatz have yet to win a league game this season and the task is going to be hard this weekend with a road game against Gonzales High.
Watsonville is averaging 7.7 points per game in four league games played, while the defense is giving up 32.2 points per game.
The Wildcatz have two games left on the schedule—Friday on the road at Gonzales High at 7:30 p.m. and at home against long-time rival Santa Cruz.
The last time both Watsonville and Gonzales met was in 2002. The Wildcatz defeated the Spartans, 34-13.
Editor’s Note:This article will be published in the Nov. 1 edition of The Pajaronian.