Tonight’s game certainly lived up to its billing. When the final horn sounded, it was the Valley Center Jaguars who emerged the victors by a score of 28-21. The Jaguars had jumped out to an early 7-0 lead thanks in large part to Mateo Sinohui’s rushing. The RB rushed for 30 yards and caught 2 passes for 28 yards on the first drive of the game. Keith Vasquez finished off the drive with a 7 yard TD catch from K.J. Mazzetti. After Otay Ranch had a three and out, Mazzetti picked up where he left off marching his team down the football field. He finished the drive with his second TD pass to Keith Vasquez and just like that, Valley Center had a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Did I mention that this game was a battle…well it was. Otay Ranch got it going on the ensuing possession. Quarterback Alfredo Garcia remained calm and didn’t stray away from the Mustangs’ game plan. A balanced rushing attack would lead the Mustangs to their first score capped off by a Sammy Paranada TD run bringing the Mustangs to within 7. On their very next possession, the Mustangs stampeded right back down the field and tied the game with a Garcia TD pass to Darian Williams.
Coming out of halftime, the defenses took this war to another level. Both defenses were unwilling to give up an inch. A fumble, a couple of punts, and even a turnover on downs and this game remained tied going into the fourth quarter. After winning the field position game, Otay Ranch started its first series of the final quarter on the Valley Center 44 yard line. RB Gus Espiritu did the heavy lifting on this drive rushing for26 yards and setting up Sammy Paranada for his second rushing TD of the game giving the Mustangs a 21-14 lead midway through the fourth.
Did I say this game was a battle…that doesn’t quite say it. It was a dog fight. Now trailing for the first time, K.J. Mazzetti and the Jaguars dug deep. Mazzetti and WR Zach Mahrenholz hooked up three times on the drive including a 34 yard bomb that set up Keith Vasquez with his third TD catch of the night. However, a missed extra point, added that much more drama to this game. Valley Center now trailed by only one point with less than 4 minutes to go in the game. The Jaguars dug even deeper when the defense shut down the running game of the Mustangs forcing them to throw on third down deep in their own territory. After an incomplete pass and a punt, the Jaguars got the ball back with just under 2 minutes left in the game. That would be more than enough time for K.J. Mazzetti and Mateo Sinohui. Starting from their own 29 yard line, Mazzetti completed passes to Zach Mahrenholz and Sinohui getting them across the 50. Three plays later, Sinohui said let’s go home as he found a hole in the Mustang defense and exploited it, scampering 31 yards for the go ahead score. The defense came up big on the Mustangs last possession to ice the victory and send the Jaguars to a 2-0 start to the season.
The Valley Center Jaguars will play host to the Otay Ranch Mustangs this Friday in Valley Center. Both teams are coming off impressive shut out wins. The Jaguars won 34-0 and the Mustangs won 33-0. The Jaguars had to travel to Hawaii, and the Mustangs avenged last year’s shutout loss. This matchup has the makings of a real battle.
The Jaguars and their two headed monster of running backs Mateo Sinohui and Ronnie McCowan made mincemeat out of Kamehameha High School. Sinohui and McCowan both scored rushing touchdowns in the second half but will that be enough to overpower a sharp looking Mustang team.
Otay Ranch looks solid on both sides of the ball. The offensive line is in a word, beefy. Every player on the line is over 200 pounds which makes life a lot easier for the offense. Last week the running game was able to open up holes all game. QB Alfredo Garcia and RB Sammy Paranada both scored a rushing touchdown and RB also bust out for a 36 yard scamper. Not to be outdone, Josh Lira boosted junior QB “Puka” Stewart’s rating when he scored on a 75 yard screen pass.
The defenses on both teams are walking pretty tall this week after they both blanked their opposition. Put it all together and you got a non-conference matchup ready to go to war. Tune in Friday at 10:30pm to the PPR to see the highlights of this and all the games.