Jake Speed made two spectacular catches for touchdowns, and the Pacific Grove High football team staved off a huge upset bid by King City, winning 42-41 on Friday night.
The win boosted Pacific Grove to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Mission Trail Athletic League. It sets up a showdown with also-undefeated Carmel next week in the annual Shoe Game for the MTAL championship.
With about five minutes to go, King City used a double pass to score a touchdown, as DeAndre Sharif, who got the first reception, then threw to Dominic Rhodes. But the extra-point attempt missed, giving the home team only a 41-35 advantage
That proved crucial as Pacific Grove needed less than 30 seconds to answer with a touchdown. On a fourth-down play, Luke Lowell scrambled and threw to a covered Speed, who one-handed the ball for a touchdown. The successful extra-point try gave the Breakers a 42-41 lead with 3:20 remaining in the game.
King City, on its next possession, quickly faced a fourth down, and the home team couldn’t convert. Pacific Grove got the ball back with 1:30 to go in the game and got the first down it needed to wrap up the contest.
King City stayed toe-to-toe with the undefeated Breakers and led 28-21 at half.
In the second half, Nathan Serrano intercepted a pass and ran the ball back 45 yards for a touchdown, giving King City a 35-28 advantage. But on the kickoff, Pacific Grove got the ball and ran it 95 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 35-35.
The loss dropped King City to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the MTAL. It snapped a four-game winning streak.
King City ends its season Friday at rival Gonzales.
Pajaro Valley 40, North Monterey County 8: At Watsonville, the Grizzlies rolled by North Monterey County to end their 35-game league losing streak.
Pajaro Valley led 20-0 at half. Anthony Cantrell opened up the second half with a 40-yard touchdown to increase the Grizzlies’ lead. Cantrell finished with two touchdown runs.
Justin Mendoza also had a lengthy second-half touchdown run, going 54 yards to give Pajaro Valley a 33-0 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Pajaro Valley’s J.J. Casares scored two touchdowns, and Jose Lara found his way into the end zone for a score.
Senior quarterback Josh Garnett had a 22-yard touchdown sprint late in the fourth quarter to break up the shutout.
The league win is Pajaro Valley’s first since Oct. 20, 2007, when it won at North Monterey County. The Grizzlies improved to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the Pacific Division.
The Grizzlies next up have a showdown with Watsonville in a week for the Belgard Kup. Pajaro Valley has never defeated Watsonville since the school opened.
North Monterey County dropped to 0-9 and was held to single digit scoring for the fifth consecutive game. The Condors will have one more try to get a win this season, next week at home against Christopher.
Hollister 35, Alisal 0: At Hollister, the Trojans (2-7, 0-5 MBL Gabilan Division) mustered up only 58 yards of total offense in falling to the host Haybalers (5-4, 3-2). Alisal crossed midfield just twice, advancing only as far to the Hollister 27-yard line.
With 1:44 left until halftime, Alisal’s Eric Mendoza recovered a fumble at the Hollister 41-yard line. After an incompletion, Sammy Jimenez ran for 14 yards to get the Trojans to the 27.
However, the Haybalers’ Guillermo Regalado intercepted a Frank Lerma pass on the very next play to deny Alisal’s best scoring chance. Four plays later, Hollister’s R.J. Clark took a toss and went 88 yards for a touchdown to give the hosts a 21-0 lead with 15 seconds left until halftime.
Jimenez led Alisal with 37 yards on 14 carries, while Lerma completed just 4-of-11 passes for 20 yards with an interception. Hollister’s Zak Hicks, who had 85 yards on 11 carries, had TD runs of 11 and 34 yards to go along with a 21-yard TD reception.
Stevenson 56, Gonzales 20: At Gonzales, the Pirates flipped the game in a span of three minutes to stop Gonzales’ bid of winning its first game this season.
Early in the third quarter, Gonzales was on the comeback trail.
Chrystian Harrigan threw a 35-yard pass to Micah Harang, cutting Gonzales’ deficit to 28-20.
On the ensuing kickoff, Drew Miller returned the ball 75 yards for a touchdown to give Stevenson a 35-20 lead and stop Gonzales’ momentum.
It was the start of a three-minute spurt where the Pirates eventually scored 28 points and blew the game open.
Stevenson tallied four interceptions in the third quarter and had six for the game.
Miller finished with four rushing touchdowns. He also kicked all eight extra points and accounted for 32 of the 56 points for Stevenson. He had 233 rushing yards on 23 carries.
Stevenson’s Kazim Apaydin scored twice from three yards out and 30 yards out.
Harrigan ran the ball 17 times for 108 yards and a touchdown. Ruben Aguirre had a first-half rushing touchdown from one yard out.
With the loss, Gonzales dropped to 0-9 overall and 0-6 in the MTAL. It has lost 15 consecutive games dating back to last year. It can snap the streak next week at home against King City.
Stevenson finishes the season against Marina next week.
Carmel 48, Soledad 34: At Soledad, the Padres held off the Aztecs to remain unbeaten on the season.
Holden Smith scored three rushing touchdowns, breaking the 70 mark for his high school career. Connor Marden ran for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass to William Kehoe.
Carmel scored on every possession except two.
The Padres led 28-21 at half and allowed just two second half touchdowns, one on the final play of the game.
Carmel next plays at Pacific Grove in the annual Shoe Game.
Marina 26, Greenfield 23: At Greenfield, the Mariners pulled off another first, defeating a team that had a win as they defeated the Bruins.
Anthony Silva’s two-yard touchdown run with 7:17 left proved to be enough for Marina.
Greenfield answered Marina’s score when Rudy Amezcua threw a touchdown pass to Jorge Rojas. The Bruins added a two-point conversion to cut its deficit to 26-23.
Marina did enough the rest of the way to get the win.
Amezcua threw two touchdowns in the game. His first, with 2:45 in the first quarter to Andrew Sanchez, gave Greenfield a 6-0 advantage.
Marina took the lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Silva to go up 7-6.
Angel Natal booted a 40-yard field goal, giving Greenfield a 9-7 lead at intermission.
Amezcua had a rushing touchdown as well, running from one yard out.
William Robinson had a 45-yard touchdown for Marina.
Hartnelll 4, Chabot 0: At Hartnell, after being ranked No. 1 in the state for the second week in a row — the first time in school history its soccer team has received a No. 1 state rating — the Panthers lived up to their reputation by beating Chabot.
Hartnell is 13-3-3 overall and 9-1-2 on confernce with two games to play. It hosts MPC on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and closes next Friday at Foothill.
The Panthers built a 3-0 lead at halftime on goals from Lorenzo Vasquez, Luis Rodriguez and penalty kick goal by Joni Cruz.
Cruz scored again in the second half on an assist from Vasquez.
De Anza 3, Hartnell 2: Celina Murillo, on an assist from Danielle Escamilla, scored on goal and Karly Leon, on an assist by Tori Perez, scored the other Hartnell goal.
Hartnell 3, San Jose 0: At San Jose, the Panthers swept San Jose 25-11, 25-9, 25-14.
Lauren Colesberry had 13 kills, and Alondra Haro tallied 12 kills. The win boosted Hartnell’s record to 14-9 overall and 5-2 in the Coast Conference.
Hartnell next plays at MPC on Wednesday.