CALEXICO — The Calexico High School varsity football team hosted the Brawley Union High School Wildcats Friday night, hoping to break a two-game, losing streak after winning their first five games of the season.
A Wildcat defense, which had three straight shutouts going into the contest, shutout the Bulldogs for the entire first half and held them to no first downs in the first quarter. Since September 16, the defense had not been scored against, but the Bulldogs, in the second half broke through, but not before the offense had built a 28-point lead at halftime. Both teams tacked on two touchdowns in the second half with Brawley winning their fourth straight game with a dominating 42-14 result.
Looking at the final stat totals, one would not expect the score to be so lopsided. Both teams combined for 670 total yards (334 yards by Brawley) and (335 yards by Calexico) where the Bulldogs did it in 70 plays to the Wildcats using only 31 plays to produce their results.
The opening kickoff sparked the first of the 35 unanswered Wildcat points when George Mickle took the opening kick from the five-yard line and was in the Bulldog endzone 16 seconds later. The 95-yard score was the second time this season the Wildcats opened up a contest by a first-play score. With 11:44 left in the first, it was 7-0 after Braulio Guzman kicked the first of seven PATs successfully.
The Bulldogs sputtered their first two drives with no first downs, as did the Wildcats on their first offensive possession. Both teams traded punts, but Brawley fared better enjoying a short field on most of their punt possessions.
With 4:51 left in the first quarter, the Wildcats’ Austyn Gutierrez (16 carries for 253 yards and five touchdowns) ran his first score of the game from 38 yards out, following a short punt by the Bulldogs. It was 14-0.
Both teams again traded punts, as neither was able to move the ball without a penalty resulting. The Bulldogs were flagged for 100 yards on 14 penalties and the Wildcats had six penalties called on them for 70 yards.
Brawley extended its lead to 21-0 on another one-play drive with a 42-yard run by Gutierrez. There was still 11:39 left in the second quarter and another score would come before the half ended.
Calexico finally started clicking on the offensive side of the game. Using a 21-play drive, they moved the ball from their own 20-yard line, getting as close as the Wildcat five-yard line. Big penalties resulted, creating a huge scoring obstacle before the halftime break. The possession took the clock almost through the whole second quarter, from 11:39 to the 2:31 mark, with the Bulldogs having no points to show for their efforts.
The Wildcat offense had just over two minutes to score before the break. It took seven plays to march down the field for the last score of the half. With 0:54 seconds showing on the clock, the lead was 28-0.
Seven plays into the second half, the Calexico Bulldogs suffered the only turnover in the game. Alek Aguirre recovered a fumble at the Wildcats’ 28-yard line. Five plays later, Gutierrez took the ball from 41-yards out, to the house for a 35-0 lead.
Calexico finally got on the scoreboard with 4:34 left in the third quarter. A six-play drive ended with an 11-yard pass from Frank Moreno to Andy Rojas, making the score 35-7.
Brawley punted on its next drive and the Bulldogs put another touchdown on the scoreboard. This drive would take 16 plays to get results and used up almost eight minutes of the game clock. Another Moreno pass of 15 yards, but this time to Alex Rivera, made the score 35-14 with 6:05 left in the game.
The final score of the game was a three-play drive with Gutierrez running 49 yards on three rushes. With 4:40 left in the game, the scoreboard showed the final results of 42-14.
The big win by Brawley and a win by the Imperial Tigers over the Southwest Eagles now brings a showdown for the IVL Title between both schools in Imperial next week. The Defending IVL Champs will be looking to retain their title from the 2015 season. The game is scheduled at 7 p.m. October 28.
Calexico will travel to Central to take on the Spartans, game starting at 7 p.m.[envira-gallery id=”87079″]