Carmel defeated Scotts Valley 54-26 on a chilly evening at Pacific Grove High School to end the Falcon’s season.
Scotts Valley Head Coach Louie Walters and his coaching staff guided the Falcons to an 8-3 record overall. It was the last game for star running back Jake Rehnberg and a host of other seniors on the team.
“I appreciate every one of these seniors and what they have done for the program,” Walters said after the game. “They dedicated eight months to this football team.”
The Falcons came out strong against the Padres, who entered the game unbeaten at 10-0.
It was a back-and-forth game as the Falcons traded blows with the Padres.
After Carmel went up 7-0 in the first quarter, the Falcons tied the game on a Rehnberg 2-yard run. Carmel marched down the field and speedy running back Holden Smith burst up the left side for a 35-yard touchdown run to go up 14-7.
On the next possession, Scotts Valley was forced to punt, but the Padres muffed the punt return and Falcon Tristen Leonetti jumped on the fumble, leading to a 28-yard field goal by Logan Sorensen for a 14-10 score.
Carmel re-focused and scored on a 25-yard touchdown scamper by Smith.
Scotts Valley then changed tactics and pushed the ball down the field with direct snaps to Rehnberg and running back Willie Johnston that resulted in a 29-yard field goal by Sorensen to make the score 21-13 with 1:27 left in the half and Scotts Valley carrying the momentum.
However, Carmel pushed the tempo and scored just before halftime on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Connor Marden to William Kehoe to go up 28-13. Marden finished the day 15-for-19 for 217 yards and four touchdowns and Kehoe seven catches for 122 yards and two scores. Smith was the leading rusher with 182 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns.
“I’m really proud of how our kids responded to a really good running team,” said Carmel Head Coach Golden Anderson. “Louie Walters does a great job consistently with that program. They always play hard.”
In the third, the teams went back and forth until Carmel began to open things up as Marden scored on a 1-yard plunge on fourth down and then threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to put the Padres up 40-13.
“Carmel was a good team today,” Walter said. “They are so precise.”
Scotts Valley, on their next possession completed a reverse pass that went for 44 yards to Dalton Locke and Alec Turowski scored on a 19-yard scoring reception from Jake Lobo to make the score 40-20.
Lobo went 11-for-20 for 167 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and Willie Johnston led the team with six catches for 103 yards.
Carmel scored touchdowns on its next two possessions and Scotts Valley capped the scoring with a 33-yard catch and run screen pass to Rehnberg to make the final score 54-26.
Scotts Valley opened the playbook against Carmel.
“They ran a lot of stuff we hadn’t seen,” Anderson said of the Falcons. He noted that it caused his team to focus on the running game when the Falcons rushed only three linemen.
Rehnberg, who rushed for 34 carries for 216 yards, finished his Scotts Valley career as the single-season leading rusher in school history with 2,234 yards on 266 carries and 16 touchdowns. He rushed for more than 200 yards in each of his last four games and had seven games with more than 200 yards rushing on the season.
Willie Johnston scored 19 touchdowns on the season, carrying 97 times for 799 yards and catching 38 passes for 593 yards as the team’s leading receiver.
Lobo finished the season 93-for-168 for 1,307 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.