Football Preview | Gonzales to battle Soledad for heritage trophy

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Gonzales Spartans and Soledad Aztecs will play Friday, Sept. 16, for the heritage trophy. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

SOLEDAD — Friday will be a good game as the battle for the heritage trophy will take place, with the Soledad Aztecs hosting the Gonzales Spartans in another chapter of their rivalry.

Last year the Aztecs broke a two-game losing to the Spartans when they beat them 28-12.

As usual, when these teams get together, you can expect a few 15-yard penalties, and for the player, emotions to be high. On the field, you can expect a lot of fireworks as both schools feature some of the best-skilled players in the county.

The Aztecs are coming off a win against Carmel, where they erupted for 28 points in the second half. Soledad’s defense pitched a shutout as they held Carmel scoreless for the first time since 2015.

For the Spartans, it will be back-to-back rivalry games as they lost to the King City Mustangs last week. Although the Spartans have lost all three games this year, you can see an improvement from last season.


Friday, Sept. 16
Gonzales Spartans (0-3) vs. Soledad Aztecs (2-1)
7:30 p.m. at Soledad High

Gonzales Spartans

What We Know: All season long, the Spartans have struggled on the defensive side of the ball, giving up 20 or more in all three games they played. On the offense, they have the playmakers to put up some points, but since game one of the season, they scored less in each game.

Players to Watch: Adrian Perez was Gonzales’ few bright spots last week as he scored two touchdowns. Champ Flores will have to have a monster game if they want to win. So far this season, he’s rushed for 365 yards in three games.

Questions: Can Gonzales’ defense get a few stops for their offense? And can Gonzales’ offense score in the 30s?

Soledad Aztecs

What We Know: Last week, you can make the case that the Aztecs played their worst half of football but played their best game this season.

Players to Watch: Ivan Salcido, in his first game as starting quarterback, went 10-14 with 246 passing yards. Francisco Ballesteros proved when they need someone to get a few yards, he can provide services. Last week he had three rushing touchdowns.

Questions: Can the Aztecs finally put it all together and live up to expectations?

Prediction (3-0): There is still a lot of work to be done by both teams if they want to hang a banner this season. Soledad showed potential last week in the second half. Now it’s time to put it together. Soledad wins — 30-14.

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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.