King City Mustangs will battle the Pacific Grove Breakers on Thursday for the final spot in the upcoming football playoffs in the Pacific Coast Athletic League's Cypress Division. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — On Thursday, Nov. 4, the King City Mustangs will travel to Pacific Grove High School for a chance to end a 15-year playoff drought.

The last time the Mustangs played in a playoff game was Nov. 17, 2006.

Last week the Mustangs were able to survive a slow start offensively against San Lorenzo Valley and won by 34-7.

According to the Central Coast Section, “B” leagues will get two automatic qualifiers. The Pacific Coast Athletic League’s Cypress Division has been deemed a “B” league by the CCS.

With Scotts Valley beating Pacific Grove last week, they won the Cypress Division and secured a playoff spot, leaving only one more spot left between two teams.

Pacific Grove Breakers, who have a league record of 3-2, will take on the Mustangs (4-1) and battle it out for the final spot.

In the last five matchups between the Mustangs and the Breakers, the Mustangs are up three games to two.

Thursday, Nov. 4
King City Mustangs (7-1) vs. Pacific Grove Breakers (5-3)
League Game
7 p.m. at Pacific Grove High

What We Know About Pacific Grove: The Breakers can put up some points. In every game except for two, they have scored at least 27 points. When this team is clicking, that means the run game is working well. And the last time the Mustangs faced a good running team was against Scotts Valley.

Breaker Players to Watch: Pacific Grove running back Jacob Booker is fourth in rushing in Monterey County and leads the team in touchdowns with 12. On the defense side, Jean-Will Reynolds will be a handful to contain. He has recorded six sacks this season.

Questions: When Booker rushes for 100 yards or more, the Breakers are 5-0. When he doesn’t, they are 0-3. If the Mustangs can shut down Booker, can Pacific Grove count on another player to replace his offensive production?

What We Know About King City: Other than one game against Scotts Valley, the Mustangs’ defense has been exceptional. In the last three games, you can even see improvement in the offense. Before these three games, they scored two touchdowns in the previous two games. Now they have at least scored over 20 points in their last three games.

Mustang Players to Watch: King City running back/linebacker Ivan Lizardi had two rushing touchdowns, eight tackles and forced a fumble in the last game. Lizardi also leads the team in rushing yards, touchdowns and tackles. Alex DeDios has been a playmaker all season. Not only is he No. 2 in receiving yards in Monterey County, but he is also tied for first in interceptions in the county. Sebastian Garcia has cooled off a bit, not recording a sack in two straight games, but he still leads the county in sacks with 11.5.

Questions: King City’s record when facing a team with a winning record is 1-1. The last time the Mustangs faced an explosive running back, they gave up 249 rushing yards. Will the Mustangs be able to contain that run and limit Pacific Grove offense production?

Prediction (8-4 record): One of the reasons why sports are powerful and can be used for healing is because a team can bring a community together. This time last year, these players had no game to play and the community was stuck indoors. This year’s football season has been one heck of a ride for King City, and I believe the ride doesn’t end in Pacific Grove. Mustangs win, 28-21.

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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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