SOLEDAD — Needing a win to snap a seven-game losing streak, the Soledad Aztec football team was up to the challenge this past week.
The Aztecs used last year’s 24-17 loss at home to the Scotts Valley Falcons in opening round of the Central Coast Section playoffs as motivation to defeat the Falcons by a 20-14 score on Friday.
“It was a much needed win,” said Soledad head coach Eric Rodriguez. “We just wanted to get that win and it didn’t matter who we were playing. Many of our players had played in that loss last year with Scotts Valley so being able to beat them at their place was very satisfying.”
The Aztecs took the lead on their first drive of the game on a quarterback sneak by Gabriel Florez and a point after attempt by David Madrigal. The drive included the passing of Florez and the running on Chris Gonzalez.
In the second quarter, the Falcons tied the game at 7-7 with a rushing touchdown. In the third quarter the Falcons broke the tie with a four-yard pass play and a successful to take the lead at 14-7. Soledad was able to tie the game at 14-14 last in the third quarter with a two-yard touchdown run by Jaycob Olivas.
In the final three minutes of the game, the Aztecs had the ball and were driving into field goal range when a pair of penalties had them at second and 38. Florez then gave the team new life rushing for over 40 yards and earning a first down. With the game clock running the Aztecs ran two plays and scored on an eight-yard run by Ritchie Urquidez. Soledad missed on the PAT xbut held a 20-14 lead with less than a minute to play. After the kickoff the Falcons had a few plays left but the Aztecs defense led by Urquidez at linebacker did not allow any big plays and the time ran out on the Falcons.
Gonzalez led Soledad with 89 rushing yards on 22 carries and Urquidez led the Soledad receivers with four receptions for 70 yards. Florez threw for over 100 yards and scored the rushing touchdown.
Soledad (1-3 in league, 1-7 overall) will host Watsonville High School this Friday on Senior Night and will conclude the season in Salinas against Alisal High School on Friday, Nov. 2.