Prep Football: Christopher land home game for CCS playoff opener

Christopher's quarterback Sterling Montgomery runs the ball for the Cougars during their game Friday against Alvarez.

GILROY — All season long Christopher coach Tim Pierleoni has been preaching the importance of writing a good story to his team. Win or lose, he said, he wanted his team’s story to be full of heart, perseverance and life lessons. Week after week the Cougars added another chapter, all leading up to the ending in Week 10 — or so they thought.
But Christopher’s story continues.
Just a few short weeks ago that the Cougars thought their season would end with the regular season finale against North Monterey County — no matter what happened in that game. After suffering back-to-back losses against the eventual Monterey Bay Pacific League champion Everett Alavarez and runner-up North Salinas, Christopher didn’t believe it would see the postseason.
But the Cougars preserved.
They went on to win four straight games, knocking off Pajaro Valley, Watsonville, Gilroy and North Monterey County, who fell to the Cougars 29-7 on Saturday in Castroville. The win over NMC secured a Division III playoff berth for Christopher, securing the No. 4 seed and home field advantage in the first round. The Cougars (7-3) will take on No. 5 seed St. Ignatius at 7 p.m. tonight at the Garcia-Elder Sports Complex.
“We’re excited to be invited to the dance,” Cougars coach Tim Pierleoni said. “We’re expecting not to be a wallflower out there. We’re going to go out and dance.”
The Wildcats finished the regular season at 2-8, but that doesn’t mean they should be written off. St. Ignatius plays in the historically tough West Catholic League and are the defending Central Coast Section Open Division champions. Pierleoni said his team won’t be overlooking its opponent, especially not after the scare the winless Condors gave it by leading 7-6 at halftime last week.
“In that league they’re in they’ve been tested every week and they’ve had some really close games that they could’ve easily won, the ball just bounced a little this way or that way,” Pierleoni said. “These guys have been there before and they know what it takes to win it all. We’ve got to strap it up and get ready to go.”
The Cougars intend on keeping their story going and they will look to do that with a win this week. The keys to victory, Pierleoni said, remain the same: Play good defense and don’t turn the ball over.
“We’re real excited for that and we’re going to try and take advantage of this for the town,” Pierleoni said. “We’re hoping to have a nice crowd and the community is excited about coming out and watching us play — that really helps.”
We’re excited to be invited to the dance. We’re expecting not to be a wallflower out there. We’re going to go out and dance.”

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