Santa Cruz-North Salinas football

Friday's game
Santa Cruz (2-1) vs. North Salinas (1-2) at Rabobank, 7:30 p.m.
 For some reason, these two teams haven't had competitive battles, at least on the scoreboard over the last five seasons.
 Erase Santa Cruz's 21-14 win in 2014 -- in which it opened up a 21 point cushion -- and the average margin of victory between the teams has been 27 points, with North Salinas winning three of the five meetings, including last year's 26-0 win.
 While I don't believe North Salinas' confidence is shaken after dropping two straight, there is a sense of urgency to not go into Gabilan Division play riding a three-game skid.
 Since producing 34 points in a season opening win, North Salinas has been held to 21 in its last two games, including a 50-9 loss to Central Coast Section power Milpitas last week.
 More touches for Arturo Garcia could be in the works as the running back leads the team in rushing with 183 yards, averaging 8.1 yards each time he gets his hand on the ball.
 Quarterback Tim Burkhardt has found chemistry with Damon Diaz, who has eight catches for nearly 170 yards for North Salinas. Burkhardt has thrown for nearly 300 yards and rushed for 158.
 After scoring just seven points in its first two games, Santa Cruz erupted for 41 last week. It still has yet to give up a point in the first quarter.

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