SOLEDAD — Needing a victory to stay in contention for a share of the league title the Soledad Aztecs downed the host San Lorenzo Valley Cougars 31-7 on Saturday in Felton. Soledad is 4-1 in the Mission Trail Athletic League’s Mission Division and are tied for first place with the Scotts Valley Falcons with one game remaining. With a loss by King City, the Aztecs and Falcons can finish as co-champions if they both win their final league game.
“The game and win showed how good of football team we can be when we have everyone healthy,” said Soledad head coach Frankie Berlanga. “The team played well in against San Lorenzo Valley with a strong passing and running game and great defense. We settled down after they (Cougars), cut the lead to 14-7 and outscored them 17-0 the rest of the game.”
Soledad took a 14-0 first quarter lead with a 63-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Robbie SantaAna to Angel Olivas and a 75-yard touchdown reception from SantaAna to Emanuel Ortega. Ulises Uribe converted on the points after the touchdowns.
The Cougars cut the lead to 14-7 in the second quarter with a 52-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jacob Auldridge to Julian Auldridge. Aaron Rodriguez completed the first half scoring for Soledad with a 35-yard pass play from SantaAna to give the Aztecs a 21-7 halftime lead.
In the third quarter Ortega scored his second touchdown of the game from eight-yards out for a 27-7 Aztec lead. The fourth PAT by Uribe made the score 28-7, Soledad.
In the fourth quarter Uribe completed the scoring with a 40-yard field goal for the final 31-7 score.
SantaAna had an outstanding game with three touchdown passes and a 12 of 16 passing performance with no interceptions. Olivas led the Aztecs with three receptions for 99-yards and a touchdown; Ortega had two receptions for 86-yards and a touchdown; Rodriguez contributed with five receptions for 78-yards; and Andru Holguin had one catch for four yards.
Defensively Victor Ocampo and Jaycob Olivas led Soledad in tackles with eight apiece and Geronimo Serrano added five tackles. Serrano added two sacks and two tackles for losses.
“It is just important to stay healthy and to win a part of the championship,” said Coach Berlanga. “Winning part of the title and then be ready to play in the CCS playoffs is our goal.”
Soledad is the defending Division IV football champions and were co-champions of the MTAL in the 2015-2016 season. Soledad concludes the regular season Saturday in Pebble Beach against the 1-4 and 2-5 Robert Louis Stevenson Pirates. Scotts Valley (4-1, 6-3 overall), finishes league on Friday by hosting San Lorenzo Valley.