The Brawley Wildcats come off a bittersweet win over the Knights of Shadow Hills 35-0 last Friday night. It was a well-deserved shutout win for Brawley High’s defense who kept the Knights from ever entering the Wildcat Red Zone. The win did come at a great expense though, when standout Nico Aguirre was injured in the game. He will probably miss the rest of the season due to a broken collarbone and left forearm fracture.
Nico has been that extra spark in the catalyst of the Wildcat’s offense, defense and special teams. What is the most painful is that this is his Senior year and as a fan of Friday Night Lights, it is sad to know we might not see him suit up in a Wildcat football uniform. “Nico”, Brawley fans wish you a speedy healing and hope you are able to play at the next level if that is your desire.
As we look ahead to Friday night, the Wildcats will face the Cibola Raiders of Yuma. They are looking forward to hitting the California Tri-fecta as they have already beat the Imperial Tigers and had Calexico Bulldogs 55-7 at halftime in a rout to a 62-34 wallop.
The Raiders have a 3-1 record with their only blemish being a 0-54 loss to a potent Skyline team from Mesa, Arizona. The loss was probably enough reason to kick the dog (Bulldog in this case) when they played Calexico last week. This year’s Cibola team has much incentive to do something it hasn’t done in school history. Beating the Wildcats on Warne Field has slipped their grasp a few times. Two years ago they gave a valiant effort where five lead changes occurred, but the Brawley defense held on as its offense stretched the winning count to a 20 point victory.
Cibola looks every bit as good or better than that game in 2012. Lucky Arvizo who graduated last year is replaced by Bailey Arvizo at QB. The Raiders on offense are just under the 1,300 yards total offense in 4 games. Bailey directs the flow with different formations either spreading the offense or bringing it all tight for a power game.
Two players that fervently hope for a Raider victory are Abraham Thompson and Michael Decorse-Hall. They played on this field two years ago as sophomores. #3 Abraham Thompson is their go-to player with 405 yards on 50 carries. #11 Michael Decorse-Hall and #18 Miguel Alvarado (Sophomore) are Bailey Arvizo’s prime targets when passing. Last year Brother Arvizo passed for under 100 yards against the Wildcats who had him in hurries and scrambling to disrupt his passing.
Let’s hope this year’s defense for the Wildcats; Steven Baeza, Jacob Ordonez, Fernando Munoz, Andrew Ortiz, Alex Campbell, Nicolas Amezcua, Blake Zeleney, Alec Gastelo, Nathan Montalvo, Kevin Kastner, Moises Lazos, Nathan Suits and AJ Grijalva can step it up and fill the void that will be left with Nico Aguirre’s absence.
The Wildcats have two more games, both against Arizona teams, to prepare for the IVL after a bye week. This is the best Cibola team they will have met since 1998, when they hosted the Raiders in a 19-6 win. It will be a team with great determination attempting to get its first win on Wildcat soil. While Brawley fans will be watching how their Wildcats will respond in Aguirre’s vacancy.
Warne field 7PM Kickoff. All the best goes out to the coaches and players.
Breaking news….*** The latest status from Nico Aguirre is he could return in 6-7 weeks for the last two to three games.