KING CITY — Welcome back the King City Mustangs offense, which erupted for 35 of the team’s 42 points last week to help beat North Monterey County.

This was the Mustangs’ best performance of the year, scoring a season-high in points. Before last Friday’s 42-0 win, 34 points was the highest point total that King City put up.

And once again, King City’s defense didn’t give up a point for the third straight game. This season the defense has had four shutouts, only giving up eight points in the second half, and has not allowed a point in the fourth quarter all season.

The Mustangs will need to play their best on both sides of the ball Friday night when they host the Scotts Valley Falcons, who are tied for first in the Pacific Coast Cypress Division with King City. This is arguably the biggest game of the decade.

The Falcons are coming into Friday’s matchup with a 6-1 record. The only loss they suffered this year was to the Santa Cruz Cardinals, who are in first place in the Pacific Coast Mission Division.

Scotts Valley has been dominating their opponents and not letting them score. Other than Santa Cruz, their next closest game came against Rancho San Juan, who lost 21-0.

The winner of Friday’s game will claim first place in the Pacific Coast Cypress Division.

Friday, Oct. 22
Scotts Valley Falcons (6-1) vs. King City Mustangs (6-0)
League Game
7:30 p.m. at King City High

What We Know About Scotts Valley: If you like the type of football when Sid Luckman was suiting up with his leather helmet, then this Scotts Valley team is going to make you blush. The Falcons, who run the triple offense, are averaging 31 points per game, and their defense is only giving up an average of nine points. Don’t expect them to throw the ball much since they have only attempted two passes all season.

Falcon Players to Watch: Falcons’ running back Isaiah Velez, who led Monterey County in rushing, has 871 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Defense tackle Matis Barbier will test the King City offense line, as he leads his team in sacks with four.

Questions: If the Falcons fall behind, will they have the offense to get them back into the game?

Falcons’ Key to Winning: Jump on the scoreboard first. King City has only scored one touchdown in the first quarter all season, so putting the pressure on the offense would be a good way to start.

What We Know About King City: It’s no secret if you watched the Mustangs all season, the defense has led the way for this team. King City has only allowed one team to rush for 100 yards all season, and that happened in the first game of the season against St. Francis of Watsonville. The old saying, “When the quarterback plays good, the team will play good,” still applies here. The Mustangs will need quarterback Jjey Martinez to play well.

Mustang Players to Watch: King City’s Sebastian Garcia, week after week, continues to be a sacking machine, increasing his lead in Monterey County to 11.5. Linebacker and running back Ivan Lizardi not only leads the team in rushing yards with 303, but he also leads the team in tackles. Since the Gonzales game, Alexis DeDios has led the team in receptions, yards and touchdown receptions.

Questions: Will King City’s offense be able to keep the momentum from last Friday’s win, or was it a fluke?

Mustangs’ Key to Winning: Obvious point alert, King City must stop the run. The key to stopping the triple option is stopping the dive up the middle. The Mustangs are going to have to put up points early on the Falcons, forcing them to play from behind.

Prediction (7-3 record): Games like these are a player’s dream, and they’re a town history. There is no doubt that Scotts Valley’s run game is going to test the King City defense, and it’s doubtful that the Mustangs can hold them out of the end zone. But it’s been too long since King City was able to hang a football banner or make a playoff appearance. This is the year that streak breaks. King City wins, 21-14.

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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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