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Football: Pajaro Valley halts 35-league game losing streak keeping North Monterey County winless

Modified: Saturday, Nov 9th, 2013

WATSONVILLE -- After 35 games, five seasons and a lot of frustration, the Pajaro Valley Grizzlies were finally the team lining up in victory formation at the end of a league game.

Pajaro Valley almost held the North Monterey County Condors scoreless en route to a 40-8 Monterey Bay League Pacific win, their first in 36 attempts, at Emmett Geiser Field in Watsonville.

"I'm extremely proud of our kids," said Pajaro Valley head coach Joe Gegorio, who also added that none of his kids were ruled ineligible because of grades. "They worked hard."

"Above everything else, I'm proud of them for that," said Gregorio of all of his kids being eligible. "I'm more impressed with that than I am with the win."

But the win, which snapped the 35-league game losing streak that dates back to the 2007 season, was also impressive.

Pajaro Valley (4-5, 1-4) held a 20-0 lead going in the half, and they were able to double that score before the end of the game with long runs from Anthony Cantrell, Justin Mendoza and Jose Lara.

Gregorio and his players sported a golden streak through their hair, which Gregorio said symbolized unity.

"I told them that if they worked their butts off everyday of practice I would do it," Gregorio said. "They did, so I threw the peroxide on my hair. We got streaks to break the streak."

Anthony Cantrell led the Grizzlies with 149 yards and two scores, including a 40-yard touchdown run around the left side of the defense to put the game away at 26-0 with 34.1 seconds left in the third quarter.

Cantrell had sat out last week's contest against Christopher because of a few "bumps and bruises" to his legs, but he made up for his absence with a monster game to help the Grizzlies snap the streak.

"Anthony came back with a vengeance," Gregorio said.

But the 5-foot-10-inch, 215-pound running back, said their's still one thing left to be done.

"It feels good to break the streak but I have one more goal on my mind," Cantrell said. "Beating Watsonville."

The Grizzlies will play Watsonville in the eight-annual Belgard Kup Friday at Watsonville High School.

Pajaro Valley has never defeated Watsonville.

"The Watsonville-PV game is one of the best experiences in sports," Gregorio said. "It's like the Michigan-Ohio State or Notre Dame-USC."

"That's the game," Gregorio said. "They circled it at the beginning of the year. They've been waiting for it. It's been on their minds for an entire year."

On the other side of the field North Monterey County, who combined their varsity and junior varsity because of low numbers, were able to score late to erase the goose egg.

Josh Garnett took off for a 21-yard touchdown run bouncing off Pajaro Valley defenders to score with 1:05 left in the game.

"We just couldn't get anything going on offense," said North Monterey County head coach Hector Villalobos. "When we're not playing good, smart football it's going to cost us. I think PV took advantage of that tonight. It was a tough loss."

The Condors (0-9, 0-5) will close out their season with a home game against Christopher Friday at 7:30 p.m.

But the night belonged to the Grizzlies, and Gregorio was on the end of a cold gatorade shower.

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