FILE — King City Mustangs' winning streak against the Greenfield Bruins was broken on Aug. 26, with the Bruins winning 17-14. The Mustangs suffered another loss on Sept. 1 to Alisal. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — King City Mustangs varsity football team knew that they would go through some growing pains coming into this season, which for them has started with a 0-2 record after a loss to the Alisal Trojans.

Coming off a loss to Greenfield, the Mustangs traveled to face Alisal on Sept. 1, looking to improve from week one. Although they lost 28-15, King City did show some improvement on the offensive end.

“We played so much better than the previous week,” Mustangs head coach Mac Villanueva said. “That was my theme for the week with the boys.”

The last time the Mustangs started the season with 0-2 was in 2017.

As a team, the Mustangs were able to put multiple drives together, which resulted in three field goals made by Jace Espino. The downfall, however, was that they couldn’t knock it in the endzone, and dropped passes became a problem.

One player that upped his game after week one was quarterback Jjey Martinez, who threw for 189 yards, but that number should be more because seven of those misses were dropped passes. He also led his team in rushing yards with 41.

“Jjey (Martinez) played a lot better,” Villanueva said. “He completed 15 of 28 passes, but we dropped seven passes.”

For the second week in a row, the Mustangs’ defense had scored a touchdown. During the game with Alisal, King City defensive tackle Noah Pacheco took the handoff from the Alisal quarterback and went 75 yards for a touchdown.

The Mustangs will look to get their first win of the season when they host their rivals, the Gonzales Spartans, on Thursday, Sept. 8. This year’s Spartans team won’t be an easy game, as they have greatly improved despite their 0-2 start to the season.

“The mood of the boys is, ‘we are moving forward, we are getting better,’” Villanueva said. “We are a much better team, and we know we are going to keep getting better.”

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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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