Football | Soledad and Gonzales come up short in season openers


SALINAS VALLEY — Last Friday was week one of the new football seasons for the South Monterey County teams, and both Soledad and Gonzales started their games on the road.

Soledad Aztecs at Soquel Knights

To open up the season, the Soledad Aztecs traveled to Santa Cruz for a rematch with the Soquel Knights.

Last year Soquel ruined the Aztecs’ Homecoming when they beat them 28-6. This year Soledad had their sights on a bit of payback. With the new head coach, Marc Villanueva, making his regular-season debut, there is new hope in the Aztec program.

In the first quarter, the Knights struck first, but it wouldn’t take long for Soledad’s starting quarterback Dominic Chavez to lead them down the field and tie up the game at 7.

Going into the second, the Knights again took the lead, but this time Chavez connected to last year’s Defensive Player of the Year Daniel Raso for his first touchdown of the season.

In the second half, the Aztecs offense came up short, as they wouldn’t score again, and ultimately lost to the Knights by 20-14.

“Our performance overall aside from the bad start was a big improvement from the Jamboree and versus a top-ranked team,” Villanueva said. “I expect us to clean up the errors and play more disciplined football in our next game.”

Soledad will now head to Greenfield on Thursday.

Gonzales Spartans at Rancho San Juan Trailblazers

As the Gonzales Spartans look to put last year behind them, they started the season heading off to Salinas to face the Rancho San Juan Trailblazers for the first time ever.

Coming into this season, Gonzales had a quarterback that could help put up points, but the question was who would help out Juan Pablo “JP” Ayala-Acosta. After the first game, the public found out who some of these players are.

The Spartans started off the season with a bang, scoring first. All game, both offense units would go back and forth, and at the half they were tied at 14.

In the first half, Gonzales’ Champ Flores and Adrian Perez each scored, but it wouldn’t be their only score in the game. Both players found the endzone twice, and Ayala-Acosta also had a rushing touchdown.

As good as the Spartans were on Friday, they came up short to Rancho San Juan, 41-34. To beat the Spartans, the Trailblazers needed five touchdowns from their running back Payton Hatten.

The Spartans, who start the season with four straight road games, will next head to Pacific Grove on Friday.

Previous articleSouth Salinas Valley Broadband Authority approves partnership with Golden State Connect Authority
Next articleFootball Preview | Soledad and Greenfield clash on Thursday
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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here