GREENFIELD — Greenfield Bruins placekicker booted a nine-yard field goal with time running out to give his football team an exciting 37-35 Santa Lucia Division win over the host Pajaro Valley Grizzlies on Friday at Cabrillo College. Greenfield (2-1 in league, 2-5 overall) overcame a double-digit deficit to down the Grizzlies (0-2, 2-4).
“In the final 15 minutes of the game we played our best football,” said Greenfield head coach Adam Barsenas. “Pajaro Valley is a good running football team but we were able to force a turnover and make some solid plays on our last possession to get down the field and set up our game winner. Daniel Morales, Jose Hernandez, and Jaime Soto made things happen for us on offense and Raul Morales and Antonio Chiquito had good plays defensively.”
Greenfield matched the Grizzly running attack with a balanced offensive performance that featured the throwing of Morales at quarterback, the receiving prowess of Hernandez, and the strong inside running of Soto at running back.
Pajaro Valley led by a 27-14 score late in the third quarter and led 35-28 in the fourth before they were outscored by the Bruins.
In the final minutes the Grizzlies had the lead and were driving the ball when they were forced to punt and give the ball to the Bruins. Morales then hit Hernandez on a pass and the junior receiver ran for a 75-yard touchdown to cut the Pajaro Valley lead to 35-34. Hernandez missed the point after attempt, and Greenfield trailed by one point.
In the final minute and a half, Chiquito rose to the occasion and forced a fumble to get the ball back to Morales and the Greenfield offense. With runs by Soto and three receptions by Hernandez, the Bruins moved into scoring range with no timeouts remaining. Reaching the nine-yard line, Morales spiked the ball to give Hernandez a chance to kick the winning field goal. With 2.4 seconds remaining, Hernandez booted a squib kick and the time ran out on the Grizzlies.
Morales had his best passing showing of the year, finishing 21 of 28 for 278 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Soto led the rushing attack with 115 yards on 28 carries, and Hernandez caught 11 passes for 160 yards and scored one touchdown. Soto had touchdown runs of 8 yards, 17 yards, 3 yards and 4 yards. As a team the Bruins produced 407 yards of offense.
Greenfield won the JV game by a 20-6 score with a 58-yard touchdown reception by Rafa Alvarez, a 70-yard kickoff return by Ivan Torres, and a 15-yard touchdown run by Torres.
“Julian Untalon played an amazing game on defense,” said Greenfield JV head coach Adrian Trujillo. “Ronnie Lujan cleared the way for the touchdown run by Ivan Torres. Leo Hernandez played multiple positions of defense to stop the run and Xavier Espinoza played well on both sides of the ball.”
Greenfield will host the Marina Mariners on Friday after spending two weeks on the road.