GONZALES — After starting the season with three straight road games, the Gonzales Spartans finally returned home last Friday to play in front of their fans and have the chance to break a losing streak that dates back to 2019.
This season for the Spartans hasn’t gone great so far, as they started the year 0-3, but with league play beginning in the Santa Lucia Division, there was optimism that they could turn their season around.
One thing that lingers over the Spartans was that they were currently on a 13-game losing streak. The good news, however, was that they would have the chance to break it against the Harbor Pirates in front of their home fans and their new video scoreboard.
The last time Gonzales won a game was on Nov. 8, 2019, when they beat North Monterey County.
Coming into the Sept. 23 game, the Spartans were down their starting quarterback Juan Pablo Acosta Ayala, who got hurt during the game against Soledad. Stepping in for him was sophomore Ray Blanco, who made his first varsity start at quarterback.
“At first, I was a little nervous,” Blanco said. “But I was also confident, and I wanted to make sure my teammates saw that.”
Once the actual game started, the Spartans overwhelmed the Pirates from the opening kickoff.
In the first quarter, Gonzales scored on their first two drives. Running back Champ Flores and wide receiver Adrian Perez had the Spartans up 14 after the first quarter.
So far this season, Perez leads Gonzales in receiving yards and has six touchdowns.
In the second quarter, Flores and the Spartans continued to dominate as they had their biggest halftime lead of the season, 35-0.
Coming into the game, Flores had rushed for over 100 yards in three of the four games this season. In Friday’s matchup, he passed another 100 yards rushing in the first half and had a career-high five rushing touchdowns.
“I’m just trying to come out and work,” Flores said. “I trust my line. I’m just trying to compete. I just do what I have been taught.”
The second half was more of the same. Gonzales’ defense only allowed the Pirates to score eight points, which is the lowest amount of points the Spartans have allowed all season.
As the new scoreboard time hit zero, the final score was 55-8, and the Spartans received their first win of the season. One could see the joy from the players and coaches that they were finally able to break their losing streak.
“All those games built up to this,” Perez said. “We haven’t won in a while, but all our hard work paid off. It’s only going to get better.”
The Spartans still have some work to do if they want to hang another banner up in the hall of champions, but they have a great chance to run the table in the Santa Lucia Division.
“Expect the same thing going forward,” Flores said. “Points on the scoreboard and working hard.”
The Spartans will travel to Monterey Peninsula College to play Marina on Saturday.