Pajaro Valley [1-4-1, 0-2 MBL] at Monterey [4-2, 1-1]
TIME: 7:30 p.m. PLACE: Monterey High [101 Herrmann Drive, Monterey]. LAST YEAR: Pajaro Valley lost 62-0. NOTES: Pajaro Valley head coach Joe Gregorio’s goal of getting better every week will eventually, he hopes, lead to a consistent and hard-working football program, much like his opponent Friday night.
“It’s a program that has had stability for many years,” Gregorio said of Monterey. “They have championships, something we’re striving to. We’re striving to be a Monterey.”
The Toreadores, who have won the Monterey Bay League three times in the last seven years, are the defending league champs and are riding a two-game winning streak after defeating North Monterey County 28-14 last week. Pajaro Valley, which is coming off a bye, is looking to snap a two-game losing streak and a five-game winless streak.
In order to do so, the Grizzlies will need to find a way around Monterey linebacker Shaunne Katoa.
“He’s a D-I player,’ Gregorio said of Katoa, who, at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, also lines up at running back. “He’s a big, big kid. He pounded North County by himself.”
While a noticeable presence on defense — he was the MBL Defensive Player of the Year last season — in the offensive backfield Katoa [128 yards, 2 TDs] is one of several RBs in Monterey’s veer option attack.
Ambrose Chioini [432 yards, 2 TDs], Aaron Reed [161 yards, 2 TDs] and Jordan Katoa [153 yards, 3 TDs] have all found the end zone for Monterey, while QB Jimmy Hill has passed for 230 yards and 3 TDs, and run for 339 yards and 6 TDs.
“They have a big offensive live and they’re going to come at you,” Gregorio said. “They’re gonna hit you in the jaw.”
P.V. has tried to mimic Monterey’s offensive style in practice with RB/LB J.P. Holbert [548 yards, 4 TDs], as well as 210-pound sophomore Anthony Cantrell.
Said Gregorio, “It’s about getting used to bringing down a bigger body.”
Pajaro Valley’s last game was a 34-7 loss to Christopher on Oct. 8, in which Holbert ran for 81 yards and a TD. Teammate Ricky Espinoza , who has compiled 508 yards and 4 TDs , ran for 56 yards on 12 carries in that game.
The Grizzlies have never beaten Monterey, losing in each of the previous five meetings.