Mustangs survive omens to beat Cougars


KING CITY — Two ambulances, drones flying overhead, a cat running on the playing field on Friday the 13th — Was this a football game or a horror movie? The King City Mustang football team was determined to just play football on Homecoming Night and they succeeded doing that with a 27-9 win over the visiting San Lorenzo Valley Cougars of Felton.

“We just did what we had to do on the field and play football,” said King City head coach Mac Villanueva. “Because San Lorenzo plays a ball control offense we only had the ball three times in the first half but we were able to score on two of those possessions. Getting the win was important because we improved to 3-1 to stay in contention in league.”

The Cougars took their only lead of the game in the first quarter on a 27-yard field goal by kicker Henry Vallderuten. The 3-0 deficit did not last for long as King City running back Matt Morales followed a block by lineman Francisco Sandoval and sped away down the home sideline for a 66-yard touchdown run. After a missed point after attempt, the Mustangs took a 6-3 lead.

In the second quarter King City used a 38-yard pass reception from quarterback Luis Luna to Luis Briseno to reach the eight-yard line. Luna fired a pass to Aaron Leonard on the next play for a touchdown and the host team 12-3 advantage. Max Pallas added the PAT and King City led 13-3. The teams played to a stalemate the rest of the half and King City went into the locker room with the 10-point lead.

The Cougar defense tightened up to start the third quarter as they forced the Mustangs to give up the ball on downs. From their own 30 SLV started to move the ball but was stopped by an interception by Luna. After reaching the 10-yard line of the Cougars the Mustangs went to work with run and scored on a three-yard touchdown run by Clay Barbree to push the lead 20-3 after another PAT by Pallas.

SLV’s return man gave his team some life on the kickoff as he caught the kick and scored on a 93-yard kickoff return. After the failed PAT the Cougars trailed by two scores. The score was still 20-9 until the fourth quarter when Briseno caught a pass from Luna and finished the play with a 65-yard touchdown. The third PAT by Pallas gave the host team a commanding 27-9 lead.

Luna completed twelve of 20 pass attempts for 159 yards and three two touchdowns and contributed with 64 rushing yards. Morales was the Mustang leading rusher with 81 yards on seven carries. Briseno was the leading King City receiver with two receptions for 72 yards and Barbree added two receptions for 47 yards.

Defensively Leonard had another strong game as a lineman and Barbree had two sacks. Luna finished with three interceptions from his position at cornerback.

On Friday the Mustangs will host 0-4 and 1-7 Pacific Grove. The Breakers were shutout 36-0 at home last week by the Soledad Aztecs.

“To us it doesn’t matter what record PG has,” said Coach Villanueva. “We will prepare for them just like any other opponent that is on our schedule.”

The King City Broncos lost 21-16 to the SLV JV team and scored one touchdown on offense and another on special teams.


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