After scoring just once during their first two games, the North Monterey County High Condors needed a big spark on Friday night.
Lupe Chavez provided just that.
The senior defensive back took the opening kick and went 93 yards to the house in the Condors’ 30-15 non-league win, N.M.C.’s first of the season, over Marina High at Monterey Peninsula College.
“That was a major part of this game,” N.M.C. junior quarterback Joseph Berato said of Chavez’s kickoff return. “That helped us out a lot. Without that it would’ve been a tougher game.”
Berato also helped the Condors’ (1-2) cause plenty, scoring a trio of rushing touchdowns and passing for more than 100 yards.
Junior defensive end Spencer Gonzalez recovered a fumble for a score.
Marina (1-1) threatened late but Chavez sealed the win with an interception.
The victory avenges the Condors’ loss to the Mariners last year and builds some much-needed momentum heading into their challenging preseason finale next week at Carmel High against the Padres, who have qualified for the Central Coast Section playoffs each of the last 10 years.
“It’s going to be a big test,” said N.M.C. head coach Sean Gomes. “It’s going to really test our coverage. We’re going to see if we’re up to the test. We’re going to have to get pressure on the quarterback to stop their passing attack. If we can’t do that, it may turn into a long day.”
Here are other results from Friday night’s local action:
Watsonville 35, Greenfield 14 — The Watsonville High Wildcatz improved to 3-0 with a blowout non-league win at Greenfield High.
Senior running backs Evan Delozier and Johnny Bravo both scored a pair of touchdowns for Watsonville, which jumped out to a 35-0 lead midway through the third quarter and never looked back.
The Wildcatz will try to finish off their preseason perfect next week at home against Irvington High.
Placer 21, Aptos 0 — The Aptos High Mariners dropped their second game in a row, falling to the Placer High Hillmen in non-league play in Auburn.
It is the first time Aptos (1-2) has been shutout since 2010.
The Mariners have a bye week before starting their inaugural season in the Monterey Bay League Gabilan division against Palma High on Sept. 22 at Rabobank Stadium in salinas.
Soquel 34, Pajaro Valley 20 — The Pajaro Valley High Grizzlies played tough but could not secure their first win of the season at Soquel High against the Knights in a non-league loss.
Senior quarterback Danny Jimenez-Carrillo ran for a pair of touchdowns and senior defensive back Diego Navarro returned a kickoff for a score in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies (0-3) trailed 21-20 but allowed 13 unanswered points over the final two quarters.
Pajaro Valley will try to find the win column next week against Lynbrook High in its preseason finale at Cabrillo College.
La Salle 20, St. Francis 7 — The St. Francis High Sharks suffered their first loss of the season in a non-league contest against the La Salle High Falcons in Milwaukie, Oregon.
St. Francis (2-1) concludes it preseason next week at Pacific Grove High.