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October 26, 2021

Game of the Week | North Salinas vs. Soledad, Sept. 24

SOLEDAD — Usually coming into league play at 2-1, you have a good understanding of your team’s identity, but for the Soledad Aztecs, some questions are lingering.

After losing to Everett Alvarez at home, the Aztecs bounced back, beating North Monterey County, 26-14.

Going into the North Monterey County game, Soledad Head Coach Jose Martinez had replaced his opening day quarterback Bryan Acero with Dominic Chavez. The reason for the change is unknown.

In the first game of the season, Acero accounted for four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown.

Going into this Friday’s league opener, Soledad may be down two key starters that play both ways.


Friday, Sept. 24
North Salinas Vikings (1-1) vs. Soledad Aztecs (2-1)
League Game
7:30 p.m. at Soledad High

What We Know: This will be a match of a former assistant coach who coaches under former Gonzales Head Coach Art Berlanga going head to head. North Salinas Head Coach Ben Ceralde coached offense, and Martinez coached defense.

North Salinas Strengths: Running the ball will be essential for the Vikings. During the offseason, the Vikings’ coaching staff made it a point to focus on the offense line production.

Players to Watch: North Salinas running back Jesus Organista will be key coming into Friday’s matchup. Another running back to keep your eye on is Daeja Hollands, the All County Girl Basketball star, who will likely get some carry.

Questions: If the run game is ineffective, can the Vikings move the ball through the air?

Soledad Strengths: It’s starting to feel like no matter who is at quarterback for Soledad, the team is going to put up points.

Players to Watch: Wide receiver Isaiah Cruz will be an even more crucial factor in this game, with the status of Daniel Raso in question. Chavez will probably be the starter at quarterback and leads the team in interceptions.

Prediction (3-2 record): It will be interesting to see if Soledad will be getting back some of their key players. One of the biggest factors that swings into the Aztecs favor is the lack of offense North Salinas produces. In two games that the Vikings have played, they only scored 27 points. With that being said, Soledad wins this 26-21.

Jason Gallardo
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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