Lions’ Special Teams Turn the Table on North Monterey

Galileo (1-1) traveled down to North Monterey High (0-1) in Castroville on Saturday, September 7th for their second match of the season.

The Lions’ Share: Nelson Shines with 6 TD’s & 4 Lions Recorded INT’s But Special Teams was the Difference

Galileo V 29–13 42
North Monterey V 14–06 20

After a tightly contested and testy first quarter, with the score tied at 14 apiece, Kyle Nelson (4 TD passes, 2 TD runs, 1 PAT pass) pinned the Condors within the 1-yardline with a brilliant 60-yard punt that stopped dead just outside of the endzone with Todd Holland covering. Galileo’s defense held for 3 plays and the Condors were forced to punt from deep in their enzone-the result was a shank that gave the Lions possession at the Condors’ 5-yardline. Nelson would follow his offensive line into the enzone on a QB sneak to give Galileo the lead for good, 21-14. An onside kick that followed succeeded when Holland once again was in the middle of it, recovering the botch pickup by one of North Monterey’s front line. Three plays later, Nelson found  junior wide-out, Rodney Morgan for a 16-yard touchdown catch-and-run. Nelson then connected with Holland on a botched PAT attempt for 2 points to complete the big run prior to the half. As if the 10-minute halftime never existed, Galileo’s special teams play continue to dominate as Phillip Tran jumped on a pooch kick-off that the Condors failed to catch. Seven plays later, preceded by a big 30-yard scramble, Nelson would run in for a 5-yard score. At the end of 3 quarters, Galileo extended their lead to 42-14. Tightend, Isaac Armstrong led all receivers with 2 TD receptions. Holland’s 81-yard TD catch in the first quarter was the game’s first score and the season’s longest for the Lions.

However, it wasn’t all special teams and offense for Galileo as 4 different defenders pulled down their first interceptions of the season; Morgan, Dontell Jackson, Terrell Jeffery, and Alvin Li. The Lions defense did not bottle up North Monterey’s star tailback but when it mattered most, Galileo did just enough to keep the Condors out of the endzone. After giving up 48 points last week, the 20 points in this game might just be the stepping stone the Lions need as a growing defensive unit. And when linebacker, Ronzel Fox, returns from an injury, the sky’s the limit.

Nelson who finished 13/27 for 216 yards took a hit in the completion percentage column as 7 passes were dropped that would have been a minimal of 81 more yards. His 4 TD tosses gives him 8 in 2 games along with a total of 3 TD’s on the ground. Defensively, junior middle linebacker, Jamari Hilliard-Vasquez continues to rack up tackles with 16 more. Senior defensive end, Terrell Jeffery moved to outside backer for this game and tallied an all-around performance; 1 int, 10 tackles, 1 hurry, 1 fumble caused. Defensive ends, Armstrong and Kris Balarezo added 10 and 8 tackles each. Junior tackle, Victor Ortiz, in his first start, made 9 tackles for a defensive front that had struggled against the run game.

Photos by Zach Dang & Nate Riley