Playing for consideration of a playoff berth, being Senior Night, and with an undefeated at home streak, the Gonzales High School Varsity football team had a lot on the line versus the visiting North Monterey County Condors on Friday 11-8-2019.
The Spartans started the game with a bang, flexing it’s defensive muscles and forcing NMC to punt. The offense was moving the ball well only to turn the ball over in the red zone, a problem that has plagued the Spartans all season.
The Condors would eventually take advantage of a mismatch in coverage and strike from far for a quick score, going up 7-0. With the pressure on, the Spartans matched the score but did not convert the extra point, and trailed 6-7.
The scene repeated itself over and over, with defense putting on a stop, and the offense sputtering or turning the ball over (4 times on the night). NMC was able to again exploit the hole in the Spartan coverage and strike with another score, this time missing the extra point themselves. Down 13 – 6, the Spartans mounted one last drive before the half ended, only to turn the ball over in the red zone.
The second half was full of bone crushing hits. NMC had every intention of winning and made the Spartans pay for every yard they gained. It came down to the last drive, with less than 2 minutes on the clock. Spartans drove the ball into the red zone as they had all night, but this time, Franky Cisneros received the ball running right, put on the breaks and then cut left and around the Condor Defense for the score! With 33 seconds left on the clock and down 12 -13, the Spartans decided there would be no overtime and went for two.
You could hear King Leonidas from the movie “300” yelling in the background…. “Give them Nothing!! Take from them Everything!”
The Spartans did just that, with Jason Flores standing in the pocket, literally in the grasp of the condors defense, throwing a floater over the middle to Justin Tavares who for a split second hesitated then went up in the air to grab the ball from it’s flight and come down with the victory!
14-13!! Spartans won their last game of the season in spectacular fashion!
The Spartans last game was a microcosm of their entire season, a lot of missed opportunities, great defense, lessons learned by a young team, relentless in the face of adversity, and finding a way to win.
With a record of 7 – 3 in a tougher division than their previous year and playing with a young team with little previous varsity experience, the Spartans have much to be proud of this season. They kept an “undefeated at home” streak alive that spans 2 years, kept possession of the Megaphone from King City, reasserted it’s claim on the Heritage trophy from Soledad, and played the toughest schedule in decades!
Let the celebrations begin and eat hearty young Spartans!! For tomorrow we begin getting ready for next year!!
Pictures of the game are below, thanks to Jocelyn Ramirez for taking them.