The Scotts Valley High football season is far from being over, however, the Falcons are quickly heading into trouble after suffering back-to-back losses to begin league play.
They came up short in an 18-14 loss to Monterey High in Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division action on Oct. 7.
With the loss, Scotts Valley dropped to 4-2 and has only four league games left on the schedule to rectify its season.
“We fought hard. We couldn’t take it back but we get next week,” Scotts Valley senior quarterback Cole Leonard said. “We just gotta put in a hard week of practice and we got it, we’ll bounce back.”
Leonard said they came out strong against a Toreadors team that was averaging 56 points per game this season and played that way the entire game, but things just didn’t go in their favor.
The Falcons were shut out in the second half for a second straight game and have scored 17 points in two league contests this season.
“We get too excited at halftime, we just need to keep the same intensity from the first half and bring it over to the second half,” Leonard said. “We just need to work on that.”
Scotts Valley coach Louie Walters said the losses have not been a result of a lack of effort.
“That was a good football team that averaged 56 points per game, we held them to 18,” he said. “I think the turnovers hurt us, you can’t win football games if you turn the ball over.”
Scotts Valley sophomore quarterback Lucas Ringel threw an interception in the first quarter when Monterey sophomore Kavon Williams leaped in the air to snatch the pass attempt.
The Toreadors capitalized on the turnover, as sophomore quarterback Preston White connected with senior running back Jkai Thomas for a 17-yard touchdown that gave them an early 6-0 lead.
However, a pair of personal fouls by Monterey’s defense allowed Scotts Valley to move up to the ’Dores’ 21-yard line. A couple of plays later, Nico Iles bulldozed his way into the end zone from 8-yards-out, giving the Falcons a 7-6 lead.
Monterey’s defense broke down again after committing its third personal foul of the half that put Scotts Valley on the ’Dore’s 13-yard line.
The Falcons took advantage of the extra yardage and scored two plays later. Leonard connected with sophomore Jess Ringel for a 12-yard touchdown pass, extending their lead to 14-6 going into halftime.
Scotts Valley was looking to keep the momentum going and the offense came storming out of the gates to start the second half.
But then it was a mirror image of last week’s meltdown against Soquel High, which resulted in a 21-3 loss.
“We’re so young but we gotta learn how to finish the game,” Walters said. “We can’t just go through the motions. We gotta finish the game.”
It began with a fumble after Leonard failed to connect on a pitch to receiver Blake LaRiviere. The Toreadors once again capitalized on the turnover after White connected with receiver Levi Elmore on a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Monterey failed to convert on the 2-point attempt and the Falcons still had a 14-12 lead.
“This Monterey team was really physical,” Leonard said. “We fought hard, they just fought back harder and it didn’t go our way this time.”
Scotts Valley’s scoring woes continued in the second half after a 31-yard field goal attempt was blocked, stalling another great drive with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.
White continued to pour salt on the wound that included a critical fourth down conversion, followed by his third touchdown pass of the evening.
This time it was a 10-yard touchdown strike to Collins that put Monterey ahead, 18-14, with a little less than eight minutes left in the game.
Other than losing the lead, the Falcons also lost Iles after he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game.
“That did hurt us, he played so good,” Leonard said. “It hurt us a lot but it is what it is. We gotta bounce back and the next guy up.”
Scotts Valley still had one last chance to take the lead but the offense failed to convert on a fourth down situation.
Ringel connected with Quinn Turowski, who then tried the old hook and ladder to Brady Siechen, but Turowski was called down at the Toreadors’ 25-yard line which was just short of a first down.
“Our whole thing is run the ball and then play action, get them sucked up,” Walters said. “That’s where we thought we were going but we just didn’t finish, and that’s the end of story.”
After an 0-2 start in league play, Leonard said they’ll have to work their tails off the entire way and win out the rest of the season.
“We need to make CCS, we got this,” he said. “I believe in our team.”
Scotts Valley will host Carmel (3-3, 1-1) for its big Homecoming Game today at 7:30pm.
The Falcons return home after having been on the road for five of their first six games this season.
“I’m sick of riding on the bus, the kids are sick of it and we’ve got homecoming this next week,” Walters said. “It’s always a huge thing for Scotts Valley and the community.”