GONZALES — The last time the Gonzales Spartans played an entire football game was over a year ago, while Pacific Grove Breakers just lost a a heartbreaker to Carmel High School in The Shoe Game.
To use an old sports cliché, what Pacific Grove will come to play? Will it be the team that was up on Carmel, 20-7, or the team that started turning over the ball?
“We played well at times against a good team, if we ignore the turnovers,” said Pacific Grove Head Coach Jeff Gray. “However, we can’t ignore the turnovers.”
Since the last time the Spartans played, championship coach Art Berlanga led Gonzales to a league title. With Berlanga now coaching in Hollister, Eddy Ramirez will make his home debut as head coach.
Friday, Sept. 3
Pacific Grove Breakers (0-1) vs. Gonzales Spartans (0-0)
7:30 p.m. at Gonzales High
What we know: When Pacific Grove takes care of the ball on offense, they are good. And Gonzales… who knows. We’ve only seen them play in the South County Jamboree, which is not a fair representation of how the season will go.
Pacific Grove strengths: Running the ball. Pacific Grove will have at least four different people having a rushing attempt come Friday. And the way that the offensive line can pull and get to the next level will be fun to watch.
Players to watch: After watching the game, it seemed like Colin Tavares was always around the ball making a play. Also Angelo Hampton, who can block and fill holes will be a problem on Friday.
Questions: How can the Breakers prepare for a time that doesn’t have any game film on them?
“It’s tough to prepare against individuals, such as their really good players,” Gray said. “There just isn’t enough information to do that. However, we know their basic offense, which is similar to Carmel’s, and we know what kind of defense they run.
So we have a basic outline on what to prepare for.”
Gonzales strengths: Quite frankly, I don’t know. I could say some typical sports cliché, but I would rather see what they do on Friday. But one thing you always count on is that community. If you need proof, go inside their basketball area and look at those banners.
Players to watch: If you’re following the ball on every play, then you will be seeing a lot of #11 Nate Dixon and #34 Andre Nunez to stand out.
Questions: Like most teams around the South County, depth will be a factor. Gonzales will be down there running/kicking come Friday.
“My main concerns are the one’s I had going into the Jamboree, which is that with a roster our size, we can’t afford any long-term injuries,” Ramirez said.
Prediction: Going 1-0 last week has given me the confidence to pick again. One of the most significant factors in game is the number of game reps each team has had. PG comes into this with a scrimmage and a highly intense rivalry game. At the same time, Gonzales has only participated in the South County Jamboree. I believe you can’t simulate game speed in practice. So I’m going with Pacific Grove, 28-21.