Coming off a rousing 70-0 win over Gilroy High in the 2012 Prune Bowl, the Balers will hope to keep that momentum going in its first ever game against Gilroy’s Christopher High.
A win over the 1-6 Cougars at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hollister would give San Benito its first winning streak of the year. The Balers only other wins came the first week of the season against Pioneer and a forfeit to Los Altos.
The Cougars will enter Hollister after a 50-13 loss to Salinas in Gilroy. Christopher’s only win came against Alvarez at the end of September.
Christopher brings a dynamic offense led by junior Sterlin Montgomery, who has thrown for 1,414 yards and nine touchdowns in seven games. So far this year, 18 different receivers have recorded a reception for the Cougars. Montgomery has connected with fellow junior Rayshon Mills the most. Mills leads the team with 31 catches, 491 yards and two touchdowns.
To be effective, the Balers will rely on an experienced secondary, led by Cody Cameron, Dominic Padilla and Landon Akhtar. With pressure, Montgomery can turn the ball over. In his 229 attempts, he has thrown eight interceptions.
On the ground, San Benito will need to stop Mills, who has run for 270 yards on 45 carries, and leading rusher Zach Almash (75 carries for 333 yards).
For San Benito, the Balers will once again need effective games from leading rusher Damien Botelho (58 carries for 364 yards) and junior quarterback David Stanton (32-for-66 for 473 yards and two touchdowns).
The strong running Balers enter the game with four rushers who have run for more than 100 yards. Zak Hicks (36 carries for 242 yards) and Paris Edwards (36 carries for 189 yards) are San Benito’s home run hitters, while Botelho runs up the middle.
After winning its first home game in the beginning of October, the Hawks will aim to finish the month in grand style. The Hawks will play on Barragan Field for the last time this year at 6 p.m. Friday, when they host Alma Heights Christian.
It is another revenge game for the Hawks, who lost to the Eagles 44-20 last year. The Eagles have struggled this year, falling to 1-5 after losing to Pinewood 68-6 last week.
Like last year, the Eagles will challenge the Anzar run defense. Alma Heights has run for 763 yards on 188 carries so far this year. Junior Greg Lim leads the Eagles with 264 yards on 39 carries. Eight different Eagles have run the ball so far this year.
Through the air, junior quarterback Joshua Cayetano has thrown for 782 yards and eight touchdowns on 46 completions.
Anzar enters the game two weeks after a 28-14 loss to Pinewood at home. In recent weeks, though, the Anzar defense and offense has started to play better, thanks to improved play from senior Gabe Hatcher.
The first-year running back has ran for 336 yards on 64 carries. He has scored four touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Jeremy Cedeno is second on the team with 314 yards on the ground.
Passing, Cedeno is 39-for-61 for 380 yards with four touchdowns and 10 interceptions.