King City Defensive Coordinator Matt Mendez and his defense have two shutouts with season. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — When the King City Mustangs beat Ranch San Juan by 28-0 last Thursday, normally the mood would have been more ecstatic, especially since they are off to a 4-0 start.

The King City defense outscored its offense, 21-7, making it the lowest amount of points the offense has put up all season.

This Friday, the Mustangs will play their first game away from South Monterey County this year when they travel to play the Watsonville Wildcatz, who have a record of 3-3 (1-1).

The Wildcatz are coming off a win against San Lorenzo Valley, 21-14, snapping a three-game losing streak.

If you’re a King City fan, trying to compare these teams on paper without ever seeing Watsonville play, then you would look at the common opponent, which is St. Francis Sharks of Watsonville.

To be fair to St. Francis, after they played the Mustangs on Aug. 30, they had to play again on Sept. 4, making them play two games in a week. The Wildcatz beat the Sharks, 14-6, while the Mustangs beat them 35-14.

Friday, Oct. 8
King City Mustangs (4-0) vs. Watsonville Wildcatz (3-3)
League Game
7:30 p.m. at Watsonville High

What We Know: The Mustangs’ defense has been dominating all year long under Defensive Coordinator Matt Mendez, whose defense has two shutouts this season. But that defense will face a confident Watsonville team that broke its three-game losing streak.

Watsonville Strengths: Look for the Wildcatz to throw the ball all around the field.

Players to Watch: Wildcatz quarterback Colin Parker is coming off a three-touchdown pass performance.

Questions: Which defense will show up for the Wildcatz? In their three wins, the defense has only given up 20 points, and in their three losses, they have given up 111 points.

King City Strengths: Matt Mendez’ defense.

Players to Watch: Look for leading running back Elijah Clavijo to bounce back from only having two yards rushing from last week. For as good as the defense is, how far this team goes will depend on how good quarterback Jjey Martinez plays.

Questions: Can the King City offense develop a rhythm early that allows them to score more than one touchdown? Will this be the week the Mustangs score points in the first quarter?

Predictions (4-3 record): Last week’s game against Rancho San Juan, I believe, will serve as a wake-up call to the Mustangs. The Mustangs’ offense is way better than seven points, so that is why I’m riding with King City again — Mustangs 30, Wildcatz 12.

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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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