Photo by Michael Ramirez
Gonzales running back Payton Flores scored three touchdowns in the Spartans' 50-7 victory at Morro Bay. Flores finished the game with 143 rushing yards.
GONZALES — Led by quarterback Raul Morales and running back Payton Flores, the Gonzales High School Spartans downed the host Morro Bay Pirates, 50-7, on Friday night in Morro Bay. Gonzales is 1-0 in non-league play with the victory, and the Pirates fell to 0-2.
“The hard work by our players has paid off,” said Gonzales head coach Arthur Berlanga. “We knew at the end of the season last year that we could play good football and we wanted to start off the season with a good win. Once we got going we took control of the game.”
Flores scored the first points of the game in the first quarter with a three-yard touchdown run and placekicker Franky Cisneros added the extra-point as the Spartans took a 7-0 lead. Morales helped the visitors take a 14-0 lead with a 25-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The Pirates cut the lead with a touchdown of their own but a safety by Pablo Villasenor in the end zone helped Gonzales score again and take a 16-7 lead into intermission.
The third quarter was all Spartans as they scored 28 points and scored on the ground, in the air, on an interception returned for a touchdown. Flores scored his second touchdown of the game with a nine-yard run and Cisneros added his third PAT as Gonzales built the lead to 23-7.
Minutes after the Flores score, Nael Vasquez picked a Pirate pass and ran in for a 36-yard interception touchdown return. The fourth Cisneros PAT made the score 30-7 Gonzales.
Morales moved the ball in the air on the next offensive series and ended a possession with a 37-yard touchdown pass to receiver Dominic Emery. Cisneros banged in the PAT, and the Spartans took a 37-7 advantage. Vasquez completed the third quarter explosion for Gonzales with a 47-yard touchdown run.
Another PAT by Cisneros increased the lead to 43-0.
Gonzales would complete the scoring in the fourth quarter with a one-yard touchdown run by Flores. A missed PAT made the final 50-7 for the visiting Spartans. Flores finished the game with 143 yards on 19 carries and finished with three touchdowns. Flores also contributed with four receptions and a total of 49 yards.
Morales passed for 212 yards on a 17 off 22 passing performance, threw one touchdown rushed for one touchdown, and ran for 73 yards. Vasquez contributed with 72 rushing yards. Emery had six catches for 114 yards to lead the Spartan receivers and scored one touchdown. Gonzales finished 497 yards of total offense.
“Our offense played really well against Morro Bay,” Berlanga said. “Defensively we had strong performances by Nael Vasquez, Pablo Villasenor and Michael Duby.”
Coming up with interceptions for the Spartans were: Nael Vasquez, Jayson Flores, Jacob Amador and Payton Flores.
In the junior varsity game at Morro Bay, the Gonzales Spartababes shut out the Pirates by a 30-0 score. Sophomore Ozzie Garcia had a superb game with two touchdowns scored and an interception.
“Once again our defense showed up from the get-go,” said Gonzales JV head coach Ruben Alvarado. “Our front four played hard-nose defense getting several QB sacks. We also had interceptions by Jose Leon and Ozzie Garcia. Offensively we started slow but ended up scoring five touchdowns. We had scores by Jose Leon, Justin Tavarez, and Jacob Valdez, and two touchdowns by Garcia. This win was a team effort. Every person that played did something great. If it wasn’t a long run, it was a great hit on the defensive side.”
On Friday the Gonzales teams will make the trip to the Monterey Peninsula to battle old Mission Trail Athletic League foes, the Pacific Grove Breakers. Games are scheduled for 5 and 7:30 p.m.