King City Mustangs senior quarterback Jjey Martinez (#2) broke the school’s all-time passing yards record set in 1983, finishing his career with 3,517 yards. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — Among the King City Mustang senior football players who were honored for the final time Friday night was quarterback Jjey Martinez, who found his last game to be his most memorable as he broke a 39-year passing record.

“I was shocked after they announced it, I was honestly just out of it,” Martinez said. “It didn’t sink until the game was over, when everyone kept on congratulating me on breaking the record. But man, does it feel good to break a record since 1983.”

After the previous week’s loss to Cypress Division champions, the Soledad Aztecs, the Mustangs were looking to get back on track as they hosted the Pacific Grove Breakers on Nov. 4. Last year the Breakers beat the Mustangs in the final week of the regular season.

In the first quarter, Pacific Grove struck first by ripping off a 77-yard passing touchdown. When the Breakers scored first in a game, they were 5-1. The only loss came to Carmel in week one.

At the night’s start, Martinez was the leading passer and leader in rushing yards. For one more game under the Friday night lights, he would do it again. The Mustangs tied it up in the first quarter when Martinez scrambled and ran the ball into the endzone for 12 yards.

The Breakers scored in the second with another long touchdown reception that went for 60 yards to put them back on top, 14-7. But the Mustangs answered back with 35 straight points.

First, King City Head Coach Mac Villanueva went into his bag of tricks when wide receiver Raul Garcia threw his second pass of the season, but this time it was a 56-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Garcia.

Running back Chris Gaytan found the endzone twice during the streak for his first two touchdowns of the season. And then, Martinez got another rushing touchdown and found Adrian Garica for a touchdown.

Garcia finished the game with five receptions for 126 yards, two touchdowns and one throwing touchdown.

The Mustangs went on to beat the Breakers, 56-20, to finish the season with an overall record of 5-5 and a home record of 4-2.

As the final whistle blew, it marked an end to Martinez’s football career. Martinez finished the 2022-23 season with 541 yards rushing and five touchdowns, in addition to 2,080 yards passing with 18 touchdown passes.

Martinez also broke King City’s all-time passing yards record set in 1983 by John Wiley, finishing his career with 3,517 yards and 28 passing touchdowns.

“The first time I put on pads when I was in sixth grade to where I am now, it’s just a moment of happiness and sadness all in one,” Martinez said. “Time does go by fast, and it’s just crazy that yesterday was my last time playing under the Friday night lights. Memories I’ll never forget.”

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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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