Gonzales Spartans varsity football team celebrates after beating Soledad on Sept. 16, 2023. (Jonathan Ganaden)

GONZALES — After starting the season 0-3, the Gonzales Spartans have won their last two games, including their league opener against the Harbor Pirates.

When the season started, the Spartans were not only thought of being the best team in South Monterey County, but also one of the teams to win the Santa Lucia Division. In the first three games, the offense had a hard time finding its footing, only scoring 46 points — with 34 points coming in one game against Pacific Grove.

Going into their game with Harbor, the Spartans were coming off a big win against Soledad. While Harbor, who has shocked a lot of fans this year, was coming off a loss to North County. With the start of league play, getting off to a good start is a key factor in winning a league title.

To begin the Sept. 23 game, Gonzales quarterback Juan Pablo Acosta-Ayala threw his seventh touchdown pass of the season when he connected with Tony Garcia to put the Spartans up 7-0.

Throughout the first half, the Spartans and Pirates were going back and forth, as the defenses were the ones setting the tone. Gonzales was able to keep their lead going into halftime, 14-6.

In the second half, the Pirates scored first and tied up the game at 14. It wouldn’t take long for the Spartans to respond when Adrian Perez backed a kickoff for 90 yards to give them the lead.

Gonzales rattled off the next 28 points and went on to win 42-14, extending their winning streak to two.

The Spartans moved to 1-0 in league, 2-3 overall, and could have a clear shot to win a league title this year. They will next host Marina on Friday in Gonzales.

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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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