GONZALES — Six players scored at least one touchdown in the Gonzales High football team’s 44-0 Santa Lucia Divisional win over the Marina Mariners on Friday night at Monterey Peninsula College.
Gonzales led 31-0 at halftime and played with a running clock in the fourth quarter against the overmatched Mariners. The Spartans improved to 3-0 in league and 6-0 overall.
Payton Flores continued a productive season gaining 197 rushing yards on 11 carries and scoring two touchdowns on the ground. Spartan quarterback Raul Morales called his own number on two rushing touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass to Frankie Cisneros of 22 yards. Cisneros also scored on a 22-yard rushing touchdown.
Gonzales took an 8-0 first quarter lead with Flores scoring from the Mariner five-yard line. Morales added the two-point conversion on a run. The second quarter was a dominated one for the Spartans as they scored 23 unanswered points. Cisneros scored his first touchdown of the game on the 22-yard pass from Morales and added the point after attempt to make the score 15-0. Morales then completed a drive with a one-yard one and Flores added two points on the conversion run that put the visitors ahead, 23-0. The productive quarter ended with a 10-yard run by Flores and two-point conversion run by Jayson Flores that ended the half with Gonzales leading 31-0.
“I felt the early start had us a little off, least offensively,” said Gonzales head coach Arthur Berlanga. “We fumbled on our first offensive series and after our defense stopped Marina we got the ball back and put the first points on the board. That got us just thinking about playing good football and settled us down.”
In the third quarter Morales led the Spartans to the Marina side of the field and scored on a one-yard run. The PAT by Cisneros gave the visitors a commanding 38-0 lead and forced the officials to ask for a running clock. Gonzales completed its scoring with a 26-yard run by Cisneros who switched over from receiver to running back. After the missed PAT, Gonzales led 44-0 and slowed down the pace in the fourth quarter to run out the time.
“We did a lot of good things on offense but our defense played well the entire game,” said Coach Berlanga. “Miguel Arreola had a sack for a loss and had two tackles for a loss and recovered a Marina fumble. Michael Rosas and Nael Vasquez stood out for us at linebacker, with Rosas finishing with five tackles and Vasquez leading us with 10 tackles. We were able to play all of our players and rest a few as now we have to get ready to play King City. This year the Little Big Game is a non-league game but it still means a lot to both teams as the winner can earn points towards the playoffs. Playing a team that is in a higher league is good for us at this point of the season and we want to win because our school has not beaten King City in football since the 2003-2004 season.”