KING CITY — Friday night’s showdown between the Scotts Valley Falcons and King City Mustangs was arguably the biggest game that King City had played in over a decade, but the Falcons soared above the Mustangs, winning 47-27.
Walking into War Memorial Stadium, one could get the “big game” feel. Although it wasn’t as packed for homecoming, the crowd filled out the home side of the stadium.
Both teams came into this game undefeated in league play, fighting for control for first place in the Pacific Coast Cypress Division and the automatic bid into the playoffs.
The last time King City made the playoffs was in 2006, when they faced the Seaside Spartans, who had a former NFL linebacker, Mason Foster.
After Scotts Valley won the toss, they decided to display their offense averaging 29 points a game. They got off to a fast start behind running back Isaiah Velez, who ripped off a 52-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons an early 7-0 lead in the first.
According to Scotts Valley Head Coach Louie Walters, Velez didn’t practice all week due to a high ankle injury.
Scotts Valley is the first team to score on the Mustangs’ defense all season in the first quarter, end their three-game shutout streak.
Now it was the Mustangs’ turn to possess the ball. King City’s Brooks Hearne took the kickoff to the endzone for his third touchdown of the season, tying the game 7-7.
After failing to score any type of points in the first quarter of their first five games, the Mustangs have now scored a touchdown in two straight games.
The Falcons’ offense picked up where they left off, driving down the field to the Mustangs’ 27-yard line, where they went for it on fourth down.
But Monterey County’s leading sacker Sebastian Garcia and the Mustangs’ defense forced the Falcons to turn it over on downs. Garcia leads the county in sacks with 11.5.
With the momentum of the crowd on the Mustangs’ side, King City Head Coach Mac Villanueva called a trick play that led to a touchdown by Hearne, but the play was called back due to a penalty, shifting the momentum to Scotts Valley.
Following a Mustangs’ punt, Scotts Valley rattled off 19 straight points. Leading the way was full-back Nicko Iles, who found the endzone six times, tying a school record with former player Kyle Hardwich.
The Mustangs added on some points at the end of the game, but they ended up losing their first game of the season, 47-27.
“We made too many mistakes,” Villanueva said.
Coming into this game, the Mustangs’ defense had only allowed opponents to rush for 273 yards all season. Friday night, Velez rushed for 269 yards for the Falcons.
Scotts Valley is only one win away from claiming a share of the Pacific Coast Cypress Division. The Falcons will finish the season with two home games against Pacific Grove and San Lorenzo Valley.
King City’s hopes of a playoff berth are still alive, but with no more room for error, the Mustangs will most likely need to win out to make the playoffs.
The Mustangs will have to survive on the road for their final two games against San Lorenzo Valley and Pacific Grove.