King City-Soledad football

Friday's game
King City (2-2) at Soledad (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
 There was a stretch when King City ruled this south county rivalry, having rattled off eight straight wins.
 Then Frankie Berlanga returned as a coach for Soledad.
 As a player, Berlanga was on the first Aztec team to beat the Mustangs in 2000. As a coach, he has  changed the direction of the rivalry, and the culture of the program.
 Soledad has won the last two meetings, using last year's 32-14 decision as a stepping stone to its first ever Mission Trail Athletic League title.
 "Part of the league title goes through those guys,'' King City coach Mac Villanueva said. "This is a chance for us to make a statement. It will be a gauge for us.''
 The Mustangs have been unbeatable on the road of late. Dating back to last year, they have won six straight road games, including last Friday's 29-15 decision over Greenfield.
 "King City plays an aggressive fast pace,'' Berlanga said. "Every year that I've been here, it's been a battle.''
 The Mustangs rediscovered their passing game last Friday as Tommy Stephens threw for over 250 yards and two touchdowns.
 "That's an area of concern for us,'' Berlanga said. "We've struggled at times against the pass. We've given up some big plays.''
 The defense has also come up with some big plays, as evident by Aaron Rodriguez returning a pick for six two weeks ago for Soledad.
 "This will be one of the best defenses we'll face all year,'' Villanueva said. "It's really tough to run against them.''
 Particularly with a wall anchored by lineman Daniel Contawe, and linebackers Andrew Hernandez and Luis Nevarrete, who have 148 tackles and 16 1/2 sacks between them.
 "We have to be able to pick up their blitz's and execute our blocking schemes,'' said Villanueva, who like Berlanga, is coaching his alma mater.
 For as effective as the passing game was last week, the Mustangs ran well with Stephens rushing for 75 yards and Christian Olmas adding 91 yards in his first start.
 A defensive back and a sprinter on the track team last spring, Olmas had never played running back until this year.
 "He caught our eye when he was running a sweep at the jamboree,'' Villanueva said. "We have been easing him in. With an injury to Jonathan Perez, we turned him loose last week.''
 Olmas also caught  a 24-yard touchdown pass out of the backfield from Stephens. Both Stephens and Olmas had touchdown runs called back.
 "We had too many penalties last week,'' Villaneuva said. "We have to be a lot smarter and clean it up against a team like Soledad.''
 After an 0-2 start, the Aztecs have won their last two games, outscoring teams 78-21.
 Last week Soledad ran off 35 unanswered points in its win over Gonzales, using three touchdown passes from Andy Hernandez .
 "Andy is getting more confident,'' Berlanga said. "It comes with experience. We're continuing to find that chemistry as the season progresses.''
 Soledad has yet to allow a point in the third quarter while King City has yet to produce a point in the fourth quarter.
 "Our defense is the anchor,'' Berlanga said. "If we can score three touchdowns, we have a very good chance of winning every game.''
 In its two wins this year, King City has scored 71 points. In its two losses, it has mustered seven.

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