GONZALES — Wanting to make a statement after an undefeated preseason, the Gonzales High football team did just that, crushing the visiting Soquel Knights 54-7 on Friday night at Dick Force Stadium.
The Spartans scored in every quarter in their Santa Lucia Divisional debut including a 32-point second quarter that put the game out of reach. Gonzales improved to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in their division.
“Those 35 points that we scored in the second quarter allowed us to just keep the ball on the ground,” said Gonzales head coach Arthur Berlanga. “We kept playing hard defensively and only allowed one score. By the time the final quarter started we played with a running clock.”
The Spartan scoring onslaught started with a bang as Payton Flores scored on a 75-yard touchdown run, followed by a two-point conversion run by his brother Jayson that gave Gonzales an 8-0 lead. The second quarter was a highlight film for the host Spartans, beginning with a 30-yard run to paydirt by quarterback Raul Morales and a two-point conversion run by Dominic Emery.
Jayson Flores scored his first touchdown of the game on a five-yard touchdown pass from Morales. A two-point conversion run by Payton Flores gave Gonzales a 24-0 lead.
Gonzales would then finish the quarter allowing one score by the Knights and added scores of their own with an 18-yard touchdown reception by Franky Cisneros from Morales, a 25-yard touchdown pass play from Morales to Cisneros and a safety by defensive end Pablo Villasenor that pushed the Spartan lead at halftime to 40-7. Cisneros converted the PATs after his two scores.
Gonzales completed the game scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run by Payton Flores and Cisneros PAT in the third quarter, and a one-yard touchdown run by Jayson Flores and Cisneros PAT for the 54-7 final.
Payton Flores ran for 233 yards on 19 carries to lead Gonzales. Morales added 68-rushing yard on seven carries and Nael Vasquez had 28 yards on six carries. Morales was six of 12 passing, threw for three touchdowns, and one interception. Cisneros had 54 yards on three receptions; Alex Morga had one catch for 18; Jayson Flores had two receptions for nine yards; and Dominic Emery had one catch for two yards.
“Offensively, we had everything working and we just want to work to get better,” said Berlanga.
The Gonzales JV team lost its Santa Lucia opener by a 7-0 score to Soquel.
“The defense played a great game and gave up the points in the last 27 seconds,” said Gonzales JV head coach Ruben Alvarado. “It was a tough loss. The offense had a difficult time moving the ball up the field for the second straight game.”