For the Terra Nova High School football team, it is déjà vu all over again.
The Tigers have advanced to their second straight Central Coast Section championship game — sixth overall in school history — and will try to bring home their first section title in 22 years on Saturday night.
Last year, Terra Nova fell to Seaside 29-18 and this year the No. 4 Tigers (8-4) have drawn another tough assignment. One week after edging No. 1 Jefferson 21-19 in the semifinals, Terra Nova will have to find a way to contain No. 2 Monterey (11-1) and its power back John Wyatt Williams, as well as quarterback Stephen Ventimilia, who scored on two long running plays in a 33-12 win over North Monterey County last week.
Adding to Terra Nova’s to do list, is to try and win the game without its star offensive player, quarterback Chris Forbes. Forbes injured his knee in the final minutes of last week’s win and is not expected to play in Saturday’s Division III championship game at Westmont High School in Campbell at 7 p.m.
On the season, Forbes topped 2,500 yards passing and rushed for an additional 600 yards in 11 games.
Those are the shoes that junior quarterback Trevor Jacobs will have to fill. Jacobs had one start this year in a 41-28 loss to King’s Academy in October and was a respectable 22-for-27 for 276 yards while throwing three touchdowns and one interception.
“A lot of teams have very good players standing on the sideline and waiting to come in and play. Trevor is a very good player,” Terra Nova coach Bill Gray said. “We anticipate he will do very well and we will not change a thing in our offense because he is in, just like the last time he started.”
Jacobs will be going up against a solid Toreadores’ defense and will need help from running back Josh Cruz and the Tigers’ defense to keep Terra Nova’s title hopes alive.
“Our defense has matured this year and has played very well,” Gray said. “We’re not concerned with how many yards we give up as long as we out score them.”
A win on Saturday would bring home a third CCS section title for Terra Nova. Its first title came in 1982 in a 27-6 win against Westmoor. Its last title came in 1988 in a 7-6 win against Carlmont.
Terra Nova has lost three CCS section title game. Aside from last year’s loss, the Tigers fell 24-6 to Jefferson in 1983 while trying to defend its first title. The second loss came in 1987 to an Oceana team coached by none other than Gray himself, who led his team to a 22-7 over Terra Nova that year.
CCS Division III Championship
WHO: No. 4 Terra Nova (8-4) vs. No. 2 Monterey (11-1)
WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Westmont High School, Campbell
LAST WEEK: No. 4 Terra Nova edged No. 1 Jefferson 21-; Monterey rolled past North Monterey County 33-12