Scotts Valley (2-0-2 Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, 4-2-2 overall) opened strong against the Sharks
(2-1-1, 5-2-1), as the Falcons marched the length of the field the first two times they had the ball, scoring on an 8-yard touchdown catch and a 15-yard run by Jake Bergman.
But St. Francis came back in the second quarter, with two long runs up the middle that evened the score at 14-14 at the half.
The Falcons moved the ball effectively in the second half thanks to another sensational night by receiver Aldin Barrett, who finished the game with 127 yards on seven receptions. His third quarter, sideline-to-sideline-and-back 42-yard touchdown reception put Scotts Valley in front, but St. Francis soon returned an intercepted pass 30 yards for a touchdown to finish the game at 21-21.
The Falcons won the game statistically, gaining 21 first downs to the Sharks’ 11 and outgaining them in total yardage 381 to 332, but St. Francis won the CCS playoff point tiebreaker, 7-6. The tiebreaker is relevant to CCS tournament position only in case the two teams finish with identical records.
Despite their second consecutive tie, the Falcons remain in control of their own destiny as they drive for their fourth SCCAL title. Every other league team has already lost this year, so for Scotts Valley, ties continue to be as good as wins.
“We’re in the same situation (as) we were a week ago,” Walters said. “We knew after the SLV game that we couldn’t lose any more games, and that applies for us for the rest of the season.”
While Scotts Valley might be tempted to look to the season’s final game against Soquel, which is second in the SCCAL standings with a 4-1 record, Walters says his players aren’t looking any farther than the Friday, Nov. 6, game in Aptos against the Mariners.
“That is the big game for us at this point. We have to beat them to get to Soquel.”
The key to victory will probably be stopping Mariner running back Zach Powell, who was last year’s SCCAL Junior Player of the Year and is the team’s leading rusher and receiver.
Powell almost buried the Falcons in their 2008 faceoff by scoring three touchdowns in the first half, a deficit Scotts Valley overcame to win 39-32.