Greenfield Bruins defense held King City to only seven points in the first half of last Friday’s game. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — Last Friday the King City Mustangs beat the Greenfield Bruins in an away game where they dominated the second half, making them 2-0 this week.

The Mustangs started the week with a win over St. Francis High School of Watsonville by a score of 34-15 at home Aug. 30.

But with no time to rest, King City had another game just four days later on Sept. 3 against a physical Greenfield team. King City Head Coach Mac Villanueva had the tough task of getting his team ready to play by Friday.

“St. Francis was physical,” Villanueva said. “So on Tuesday, we came in pretty beat up.” 

With only three days to prepare for the game, the Mustangs had only “light” practice. 

“It was very light practice,” Villanueva said. “Just a lot of preparation on what Greenfield does.” 

One thing the Bruins do well is running ball behind that offensive line. Coming into this game, Greenfield running back Alonso Barcenas rushed for 116 yards against Soledad. 

Bruins running back Anthony Morales (No. 5, background) awaits the handoff. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

The Bruins started the game without some of their key players. Greenfield’s starting quarterback, who got hurt on the team’s first drive last week, will be out indefinitely, and the starting left tackle also missed his second straight game.

For fans of old-style football, when the Wing-T and Wishbone offenses were around and establishing the runs, the first half of this game was for them. Both teams scored less in the first quarter, as each would try to establish the run and take their time. 

An already injured team, the Bruins’ injuries started to add up as two players left the game and did not return due to injuries.

The Mustangs offense halfway through the second quarter started to show some life as they converted on fourth down twice to keep the drive alive. Mustangs quarterback Jjey “The Humble One” Martinez would take it into the end zone for the first points of the game.

Mustangs quarterback Jjey Martinez (right) prepares for the snap with running back Sebastian Garcia. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

But with 3:16 still left in the first half, Greenfield got in position to try to score before the half. The Bruins attempted a field goal, but the Mustangs blocked the kick.

King City wasn’t able to establish the run in the first half, and every time Greenfield had a chance to hit Martinez, they would take their opportunity.

“I give 100% to Greenfield,” Villanueva said. “Greenfield came out ready to play. They executed their game plan on defense.”

The King City offense found its rhythm in the second, when Brooks Hearne scored on a sweep to increase the lead to 13-0. 

After a Greenfield punt, Martinez found the pace he liked by running and throwing. The Mustangs scored again, this time through the air when Martinez connected with Hearne, making the score 20-0.

King City fully dominated the second half, beating the Bruins by a final score of 34-0. 

Mustangs punt returner Alexis DeDios collected his second interception of the season during last Friday’s game against Greenfield. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

The Mustangs defense pitched a shutout and was helped by Alexis DeDios, who had his second pick of the season.

Villanueva praised his defensive coordinator Matt Mendez.

“I got a great defensive coordinator in coach Matt Mendez,” Villanueva said. “He does a great job getting the boys ready. Number two, we got a good group of physical players.”

The Bruins will now have to turn their attention to Gonzales High, as they will play on the Spartans field on Thursday, Sept. 9. Gonzales is coming off a loss to Pacific Grove by the score of 34-20.

The Mustangs’ showdown with former MTAL member, the Carmel Padres, on Friday, Sept. 10, has been canceled due to Covid-related issues.

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Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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