BRAWLEY– The Brawley Union High School Wildcats varsity football team hosted the Gila Ridge High School Hawks Friday night at Warne Field on a beautiful Autumn evening. Entering the game, the Wildcats had the same record, 1-3, as last year when they visited the same Arizona school. Scoring the same amount of points in each half as they did the previous year, Brawley shutout the visiting Hawks for the second consecutive time by a score of 44-0.
It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to put points on the board. The opening kickoff was received by the Wildcats’ George Mickle at the seven yard line, taken to the house and cashed in for six points on a 93-yard sprint to paydirt. Brawley led 7-0 fourteen seconds into the game.
The Hawks on the evening were able to reach the century mark with 116 total yards on offense. Unfortunately, their first drive of the game would be the first of eight punts forced by a tough Brawley defense.
The Wildcats next drive of 68 yards on five plays put them ahead 14-0 with 7:09 left in the first quarter. On the drive, quarterback AJ Grijalva accounted for 66 yards of the 68. A 19-yard pass and runs of 28,15 and a 4-yard touchdown run capped off the first quarter score.
Both teams traded punts in their next drives and Gila Ridge would have a chance to score on the Wildcats only turnover of the game. A fumble on the Brawley 30-yard line found the Hawks within striking distance of cutting the score in half. Four plays later found them in a fourth down and six on the Wildcat 26-yard line. The first of his two interceptions in the game was picked out of the air by AJ Grijalva where it gave possession to Brawley on its own one yard line.
With the Wildcats’ backs to the end zone, and a second down and nine from the two-yard line, Austyn Gutierrez (10 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns) ran around the left side to a 98-yard touchdown run with 10:12 left until the half.
Brawley led 21-0. Gutierrez made the score 28-0 with just over a minute left until half with a short eight-yard run that capped off a 32-yard drive on four plays.
The second half was either sloppy offensive play or great defensive adjustments by both teams. A total of six punts, four by the Hawks and two by the Wildcats, were made in the third quarter that appeared would go scoreless by both teams. George Mickle would put a stop to that thought when he scored his second touchdown of the game on a 47-yard run and the clock showing 2:13 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats defense forced another punt late in the third quarter where sophomore quarterback Casey Kline entered the game behind center. After a short run and an incomplete pass, Kline scored his first touchdown of the season with a 60-yard dash to the end zone to complete the offensive scoring for Brawley. With 11:03 and a running clock in affect, the score was 42-0.
Brawley’s last score was made possible when a bad snap in the Gila Ridge end zone was recovered by their quarterback who was then tackled by Cedric Ambriz for the two point safety to end the game at 44-0.
Unofficially, the Wildcats totaled 355 yards on offense. (28 rushes for 319 yards and 36 yards on 2 receptions) Brawley defense picked off three interceptions while not allowing any passes to be completed in the game.
The Wildcats will take the same record they did last year of 2-3 going into IVL League play. They will have a “Bye” week next Friday and travel to Blythe to take on the Palo Verde YellowJackets on October 7th at 7:00 p.m. Palo Verde goes into the game with a 4-1 record.