Holden Smith rushed for over 200 yards and Conner Marden threw four touchdown passes as Carmel coasted past Scotts Valley 54-26 in the first round of the playoffs.
The Padres overcame two muffed punts in the first quarter to take a 28-13 lead into halftime.
Carmel took an early lead when Smith scored on an 8-yard run on the first drive of the game.
The Padres defense held Scotts Valley to a 3 and out on the ensuing possession, but a muffed punt gave the Falcons the ball on Carmel’s 34.
However, the Falcons could not convert the great field position into points; turning the ball over on downs in four straight plays. But Scotts Valley did tie the game on its next series, marching 54-yards on 7 plays capped off by a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Jake Rehnberg.
Carmel answered when Smith broke loose on a 35-yard touchdown to give the Padres a 14-7 lead.
But specials teams’ disaster struck again on the next series as a muffed punt gave Scotts Valley the ball on Carmel’s 26. This time the Falcons managed to capitalize, cutting the lead to 4 on a 27-yard field goal by Logan Sorensen.
The Padres answered on its next series driving the ball 64 yards on 8 plays with Smith scoring for the third time on the night, this one from 25 yards out.
The Falcons managed to get on the board again when Sorensen booted a 29-yard field goal. But Marden threw the first of his four touchdown passes with 48 seconds left in the half; hitting William Kehoe on a 37 yarder.
Carmel struck first in the second half scoring touchdowns on back-to-back series. The first one came on a 1-yard touchdown run by Marden to finish off a 75-yard drive.
Then after recovering an onside kick, the Padres jumped to a 40-13 lead when Marden hit Thomas Spanos on a 20-yard touchdown pass.
The Falcons cut the lead to 20 on its next series when Jake Lobo found Alec Turowski on a 19-yard touchdown pass with 1:31 left in the third quarter.
But Carmel struck again one series later when Marden found Kehoe on a 20-yard touchdown to take a 47-20 lead.
The Padres took its largest lead of the game when Marden found Spanos on another 20-yard touchdown pass to go up 54-20. The Falcons managed to score one more time in regulation, but could not close the gap anymore than 28 points.
Pacific Grove 42, Live Oak 20: At Live Oak, the Breakers downed the Acorns thanks in part to Jake Speed, who blitzed past defenders all night.
With the win, Pacific Grove will get a second crack at Carmel this season next week in the CCS Division IV semifinals.
Speed tallied four touchdowns and 118 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Live Oak scored 14 points in the first quarter and then couldn’t get another score until the fourth.
Meanwhile, touchdown runs by Speed and Keenan Selbicky and a 40-yard pass by Luke Lowell to Forest Compton gave the Breakers a 22-14 lead at half.
Speed then had three second-half touchdowns, with two coming on the Breakers’ first two drives of the second half, boosting the Breakers’ advantage to 34-14.
Live Oak’s Trevor Bearden had 191 yards rushing on 29 carries.
Monterey 30, Menlo 12: At Sequoia High in Redwood City, the Toreadores advanced to the semifinals for a second consecutive year after taking out the Knights.
This time, their semifinal appearance will be in Division IV.
Monterey avoided its first losing streak this season and improved to 3-0 in games following a loss. In all four of those post-loss wins, the Toreadores have averaged almost 47 points a game.
With the win, Monterey will face either Sacred Heart Prep or rival Seaside. The two teams play today at 1 p.m. in Atherton.
Los Gatos 59, North Salinas 34: At Los Gatos, the Vikings stayed with the Wildcats for a half but were unable to match the home team’s firepower, as they were eliminated in the first round of the CCS Division II tournament.
Randy Ivey got the Vikings on the board with a touchdown catch from Justyn Gutierrez, tying the game at 7-7. The teams couldn’t stop each other, combining for 31 first-quarter points. Los Gatos led 17-14 after a quarter.
The Vikings went ahead with a touchdown to start the second quarter, leading 21-17. But Los Gatos scored 14 unanswered points to lead at half, and then the Wildcats kept the Vikings at bay.
Ivey caught an 84-yard touchdown pass to get North Salinas to within 38-28.
The Vikings finished the season 8-4.
Hollister 62, Independence 21: At Hollister, the Haybalers scored the most points of any playoff team as they rolled by the 76ers in the first round of the CCS Division I tournament.
The Haybalers quickly went ahead 21-0 in the first quarter and built on their lead from there.
With the win, Hollister (6-5), the defending Division I champions, will play at undefeated Alvarez (11-0) on Saturday in the semifinals.