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November 24, 2021

Falcons soar past King City in division showdown | HS football

Scotts Valley secures first place lead in PCAL-Cypress

KING CITY—King City went into last week’s showdown against Scotts Valley in what was arguably the biggest game for the Mustangs in more than a decade. 

But, it was the Falcons who soared high to a 47-27 victory in Pacific Coast Athletic League Cypress Division action on Oct. 22 to remain undefeated, 4-0, in league play and atop of the standings.  

Leading the way was fullback Niko Iles with six touchdowns, tying a school record held by former standout Kyle Hardwick.

“That was a big game,” Scotts Valley coach Louie Walters said. “Our kids rose to the occasion. They were [running on] all cylinders from the get-go.”

The Falcons (7-1, 4-0) can clinch at least a share of the league title and an automatic Central Coast Section playoff berth next week with a win at home against Pacific Grove (5-2, 3-1).

The last time King City (6-1, 3-1) made the playoffs was in 2006 when it faced Seaside High, which had former NFL linebacker Mason Foster.

Walking into War Memorial Stadium, there was a “big game” feel as the crowd filled out the home side bleachers. Plus, the Mustangs’ defense had only allowed opponents to rush for 273 yards all season. 

Isaiah Velez, who didn’t practice all week due to a high ankle injury, tallied 269 yards on the ground for the Falcons. They were also the first team to score against King City in the first quarter this season, ending its three-game shutout streak. 

“We didn’t expect to score 49 points and we didn’t expect the score to be lopsided, as it was,” Walters said. 

Iles ripped off a 52-yard touchdown run to give them an early 7-0 lead in the opening stanza.

King City responded on the ensuing kickoff after Brooks Hearne sprinted to the end zone for his third touchdown of the season, tying the game 7-all.

After failing to score any type of points in the first quarter of their first five games, the Mustangs have now scored a touchdown in two straight games.

The Falcons’ offense picked up where they left off, driving down the field to the Mustangs’ 27-yard line, where they went for it on fourth down. 

But the Mustangs’ defense came up with a big stop as Monterey County’s leading sacker Sebastian Garcia forced Scotts Valley to turn the ball over on downs. Garcia leads the county with 11 and 1/2 sacks. 

With the momentum of the crowd on their side, King City coach Mac Villanueva called a trick play that led to a touchdown by Hearne. 

But the score was called back due to a penalty, shifting the momentum back to Scotts Valley, which rattled off 19 straight points following a punt by the Mustangs. The Falcons’ defense also forced six turnovers.

“The team that committed the least amount of turnovers and came up with some big plays was going to win the game,” Walters said.  

King City added on some points in the final stanza but it wasn’t enough to overcome a big deficit. Their hopes of a playoff berth are still alive, but with no more room for error, the Mustangs will most likely need to win out to make the playoffs.

“We made too many mistakes,” Villanueva said.

Scotts Valley is one win away from at least claiming a share of the PCAL Cypress division title. The Falcons will finish the season with two home games, beginning with Pacific Grove on Oct. 30 at 2pm.

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