High School football: Olivares, Vaughns ignite Seaside in upset of Terra Nova

Peninsula Premier Admin

SEASIDE — All that noise that was heard in the opposing locker room before the game, had a different tone when it was time to get on the bus back to Pacifica.

While the injuries to a roster of 28 are mounting for Seaside, that pride in the program can’t be underestimated.

“I definitely think we shocked them,” said Seaside football coach Al Avila, after his undermanned Spartans erupted for a season high in points Friday in a 48-34 decision over previously undefeated Terra Nova.

Avila, himself seemed a big surprised at how well his Spartans responded under adversity to an undefeated program that came in with a pair of double-digit wins.

“Our kids don’t fear anyone,” Avila said. “We’re missing a lot of kids, impact players that we hope will be back for league. We had guys in positions tonight for the first time and kids responded.”

Avila, who was down four starters coming into the game, lost three more against Terra Nova, who the Spartans hadn’t faced since beating them 29-18 in the 2009 Central Coast Section Division III title game.

“We were playing with mirrors,” Avila said. “We lost a few more kids tonight. We don’t have a lot of depth. We could be a different looking team if we get these kids back and heathy. It was a great night for us.”

Particularly on offense, where the 48 points matched Seaside’s highest point total for just the second time in 10 years.

Having installed a new offensive system this fall, quarterback Jamari Vaughns is excelling in it, tossing a touchdown pass to Jeter Olivares and rushing for a pair.

“This is coach (Pat) Murphy’s offense,” Avila said. “I’ve learned so much. The kids love it. He’s so encouraging. The timing still isn’t quite there. We’re still adding things. But we’re getting better.”

For all of his offensive heroics, it was a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown by Olivares that swung the momentum for the Spartans (2-1) in the second quarter.

Having started since his freshman season at safety, Olivares has two pick six’s this year among his nine touchdowns.

“Jeter continues to show why he’s one of the best players in the county on both sides of the ball,” Avila said.

As dynamic as Olivares and Vaughns have been on offense this year, the Spartans spread it out a little more against Terra Nova with Nate Schwener and Hunter Allan both rushing for touchdowns for the first time this fall.

“We’re a gap scheme with the spread,” Avila said. “We were moving up and down the field. Jamari has been lights out running and throwing.”

Solidifying a defense that has given up 83 points may be a matter of getting healthy. After the Spartans game with Salinas next Friday, it will have a buy prior to going into Mission Division play.

“We have to get a lot better on defense,” Avila said. “We need to get some bodies back. That will make a difference. We’re down to six linemen. We’re missing big pieces up front.”

Soledad 28, Carmel 2: A change in the offense provided results in the second half as the Aztecs ran off 28 unanswered points to beat Carmel for just the third time in the programs 23 year history.

The last time Carmel was held without a touchdown was in 2015 when Soledad beat them 9-3. Dating back to last year, the Padres have dropped five straight road games.

Soledad head coach Marc Villanueva moved Dominic Chavez — the single game school record holder for passing yards — out from under center and to the outside and inserted Ivan Pacheco at quarterback.

“We distributed the ball better,” Villanueva said. “Dominic had over 100 receiving yards tonight. We ran the ball better. We were just a little more fluid.”

Pacheco, whose 47-yard field goal last week lifted Soledad past Greenfield, orchestrated the offense with his arm and legs, with Francisco Ballesteros rushing for three touchdowns.

Nearly 100 yards in penalties in the first half grounded the Aztecs offense, while a punt return for a touchdown was brought back because of a penalty.

“I told the kids at the half are we going to beat ourselves?” Villaneuva said. “We refocused in the second half and bought into the game plan and executed it.”

Carmel, who has mustered just one offensive touchdown in its last two road games, blocked a punt to produce a safety and a 2-0 lead at the half.

“We studied Carmel very methodically,” Villanueva said. “We noticed things they do in their system. We repped out. We came in with a great game plan.”

Sophomore linebacker Adam Velarde made his varsity debut with a handful of tackles for Soledad, while Chavez and Daniel Raso — the Mission Division Defensive Player of the Year last fall — clamped down in the secondary.

Monterey 47, North County 0: No one is talking about the Toreadores defense, which manufactured their second shutout of the season with a filthy performance at MPC.

Through 12 quarters this fall, Monterey has allowed just one touchdown. The offense, meanwhile has outscored opponents 101-6 in a 2-1 start.

“Our speed helps,” Monterey coach Alex Besaw said. “One guy gets to the ball and two or three guys keep coming. We do a good job of rallying to the ball. We’re still making mental mistakes. But we’re setting the tone.”

Besaw’s culture remains a work in progress. In fact, the frustration of a personal foul penalty saw him call a time out and gather the entire team for a vocal speech.

“We had some bad penalties in the first half,” Besaw said. “I had seen enough. I told them that is not the brand of football we want to play. I won’t wait for an official to remove you from the game. I will if it continues.”

Monterey responded by scoring 34 points in the final 28 minutes.

“I’m proud of how the kids responded after that moment and got back to our brand of football,” said Besaw, whose squad will visit Hollister next Friday.

Anchored by linebacker Nate Cruz and free safety Jkai Thomas, the Toreadores shut out a North County team that had produced 40 points in its last game.

“Nate is emerging as the captain of our defense,” Besaw said. “And I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone fill an ally as fast as Jkai does. He covers grass. He’s coming to lay a tough hit.”

Thomas made his presence felt in all three phases of the game, blocking a punt on special teams, taking a reverse 69 yards for a touchdown, and intercepting a pass for Monterey.

“We saw something on film,” said Besaw, in discussing the blocked punt. “So we moved Jkai to the edge. We are still working on getting people lined up correctly on both sides. We are still making mental mistakes. But they are getting fewer and fewer.”

Levi Elmore and Soakie Funaki both accounted for a pair of touchdowns, with Elmore catching one from Preston White, and adding a 20-yard touchdown run.

“Levi had a great game on both sides of the ball,” Besaw said.

Julian Johnson continued to create havoc on the edge as a defensive end for the Toreadores, providing a pass rush and cutting off the Condors on runs to the outside.

“We were able to make plays and muddy up what they were doing,” Besaw said. “We were able to shoot the gaps and take stuff away. We had a lot of negative plays on defense.”

Gilroy 22, North Salinas 6: An identity crisis is evident on offense as the host Vikings have been outscored 112-12 in three losses to open the season.

“It’s hard to see progress when you see mistakes,” North Salinas coach Ben Ceralde said. “It’s a combination of being young and having inconsistent practices. It shows up in four quarters of football.”

The Vikings were down just 7-6 at the half after a Justin Pascone touchdown run, the first points the offense had scored in the first half this year.

Yet, as the injuries mounted in the second half and offense got stagnate, North Salinas’ defense begin to wear down.

“Guys were dropping left and right,” said Ceralde, who took the Vikings to the Central Coast Section Division V semifinals last year. We had some kids step up. I knew this was going to be a rebuilding year. But I did not think it would hurt this bad.”

Contributed by local news sources

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2022