Â Â Â Â Last Fridayâ€™s win after a slow start by the Brawley Wildcats can be looked at in two different perspectives. The slow start either exposed something most teams hadnâ€™t seen yet and Southwest exploited for half of the game, or discipline and preparation for a game, no matter how heavily a team is favored, is ultimately important in how well you play.
Whether the players had complacency issues or Southwest was that fired up for the upset, it is all water under the bridge. I am sure the halftime pep talk by the coaches in Fridayâ€™s game made its presence felt and lingered into this weekâ€™s preparations for the Calexico Bulldogs.
Being it was a â€œBig Fat Greek Homecomingâ€ theme I wouldnâ€™t doubt that the pep talk included the spraying of Windex on the players and equipment. (If you saw the movie, you are probably chuckling just about now).
After five straight home games with a â€œByeâ€ week among those, it is now time for the Wildcats to travel. This first away game since August is TGITF (Thank Goodness Itâ€™s Taco Friday). The Bulldogs have had performances in Calexico similar to what Southwest did to Brawley. The Bulldogs are 2-4 for the season with a big IVL win last week in Blythe versus the Yellow Jackets of Palo Verde by a score of 35-30. The game bounced back and forth with five lead changes where the Bulldogs put up a good fight in victorious fashion. They were led by Alberto Valdez, RB, who had a fairly decent game last year, when the Bulldogs visited Brawley.
Valdez had 127 yards on 19 rushes last year and no player has rushed for 100 yards this season against the stingy Wildcats. The Bulldogs donâ€™t have an arsenal attack, but will drop in the shotgun formation on occasion. They are most effective with QB Nico Martinez lined up behind the center.
Calexico has had a rough season and is rebuilding this year after losing some crucial players due to graduation. They have had three huge losses to Cibola, Sweetwater and Orange Glen. One loss was a nail biter to Desert Mirage 22-20 and their only other win was to Montgomery High of San Diego 35-0.
The Wildcats are projected to win 48-0, but we know how accurate that was last week. The Wildcats even though heavily favored must not be looking ahead to the show down in Imperial next week. Let that play a factor Friday night- and it could be a longer one than the Eagles game.
My Common Core math still needs some polishing up as I had Andrew Ortiz with 237 yards on 23 carries. After further review and calculations the more accurate total was 222 yards on 23 carries. He now has 937 yards on 122 carries. Ross Rubio had 116 yards on 14 carries. No one had a bigger game last week than #44 Jacob Ordonez on defense. (Note his number was wrongly stated in the print issue).
Jacob had a smorgasbord of effectiveness, including being involved in 10 tackles (one sack, one for loss yardage); he disrupted the QB on passing plays, and had a TD interception return which sparked the Wildcats fiery 28 point second half. The Wildcats have at least one interception in every game this season which is an impressive stat. Nathan Montalvo, Steven Baeza and Andrew Ortiz also had exceptional games defensively to preserve the third shutout of the season.
Hopefully, the Wildcats will come out of this game not only with a victory but free of injuries so they can be at full strength for the much anticipated game versus the Tigers.
The Tigers play Southwest and will have their hands full pending how the Eagles rebound after the great performance of last week, albeit in defeat.
Best wishes go out to the coaches and players. Fans please drive safely to and from the game. Kickoff is at 7pm at Ward Field in Calexico.