Late Field Goal Propels Pacific Grove Into CCS Final

Noah Ryan’s last second field goal secured a 37-35 win for P.G. over Scotts Valley


Photo credits to Leticia Ferreira

Written by Eli Swanson, Editor

For the second time in three years, the Pacific Grove football team will play for a CCS Championship after squeaking out a 37-35 win over Scotts Valley.


The Breakers utilized every second of the game in avenging a loss in the semi-finals last year to Monte Vista Christian, and Noah Ryan nailed a 21-yard field goal as time expired to send P.G. in the finals.


“We really didn’t talk about last year too much. You get to this point and it’s different teams, different players, different situations,” said Pacific Grove head coach, Chris Morgan.


Scotts Valley jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter two passing touchdowns from quarterback Nick Reyes. The Falcons took all the momentum when Reyes hit Timothy Wagner for a 79-yard score three plays after the Scotts Valley defense stuffed Pacific Grove on a fourth down in the red zone.


Up until the last second, turnovers seemed like they would play a huge part in the game. The Breakers turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions before Noah Cryns’ wildcat offense punched into the end zone with four minutes left in the first half. Cryns finished the game with 103 yards rushing on 23 carries and three touchdowns despite playing through injury and illness.


P.G. took all the momentum into the second half, but it was Scotts Valley that opened the scoring with a 10-play, 65-yard drive capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Emanuelson.


The Breakers tied the game at 21 apiece with 5:13 to go in the third quarter, and Pacific Grove seemed to snatch back their swagger after Sam Fenstermaker recovered the ensuing onside kick to set up the offense at the Scotts Valley 39-yard line. The momentum swings continued when Colton Moore was intercepted at the 35-yard line by Falcons defensive back Kyle Giguere.


The Falcons held a 28-21 lead after three quarters.


On the second play of the fourth quarter, Pacific Grove running back Uche Ebo bullied his way into the end zone from 5 yards out to tie the game at 28.


The Falcons took all the air out of Breaker Stadium when Reyes hit receiver Trevor Ponos for a 41-yard touchdown to put Scotts Valley ahead 35-28 with three and a half minutes to play.


And, as this game went all night, Pacific Grove answered back two minutes later when Cryns ran three yards up the middle to make the score 35-34. The Breakers attempted the two-point conversion, but quarterback Colton Moore was stopped on the goal line after attempting a sweep around his right end.


“I told the kids when we started moving the ball, ‘when we score, we’re going for two’,” said Morgan.

Noah Ryan failed to kick the ball the ten yards required on the onside kick, and Scotts Valley took over at the Breaker 44-yard line with just over a minute remaining in the game. Luckily for coach Morgan and the Breakers, P.G. had all three timeouts remaining.


The Pacific Grove defense stuffed the Falcons behind standout play from Foster Smith, Tyler Hawes and Kolby Foster, and the Breakers were gifted another chance down one point with 50.2 seconds left in the game.


With Noah Cryns sick on the sideline, the responsibility fell on Colton Moore to lead the team to victory. Moore did not disappoint.


The Breakers dragged the Falcons defense 71 yards down the field to the Scotts Valley 3-yard line behind four pass plays from Moore to receiver Kane Miller. Miller had zero catches in the first 46 minutes of the game. Miller caught four passes for for 54 yards on the final drive.


“We’ve been doing a lot of Wildcat stuff lately, but we asked Colton to do some things and he responded well. There were a couple plays down the stretch where he had to make some good reads and some great throws, and he responded like a senior in that situation,” said coach Morgan.


Moore finished the game 8 for 14 for 171 yards.


On the penultimate play of the game, Moore hit Miller for 20 yards on a slant over the middle to give kicker Noah Ryan a shot at a field goal with 1.8 seconds to go. Ryan and his teammates waited anxiously as Falcons defender Trevor Ponos was tended to in a lengthy medical timeout that required 911 to be called.


After Scotts Valley used two of its timeouts to try to ice the kicker, Ryan hit a 13-yard field goal as the buzzer sounded to continue Pacific Grove’s season.


“I was scared. I thought I missed it,” said Ryan.
He didn’t miss it, and Pacific Grove will play Half Moon Bay in next Friday’s Division V Final. The Finals berth will be Pacific Grove’s 6th appearance in 15 years. The Breakers appeared in the final in 2013, 2007, 2006, 2003, and 2001. Pacific Grove’s lone victory in CCS Championship games came in 2001, when the Breakers beat Pioneer 17-0 for the a 17-0 win behind two passing touchdowns from quarterback Jon Grant.