CALIPATRIA — The Calipatria Hornets hosted Horizon Christian Academy November 10 for the first CIF match of the 2016 season. With both teams trying to advance to the next round, the game proved exciting with high scores that led to Horizon Christian Academy winning with a final score of 49-36.
To begin the game, the Hornets kicked off to the Panthers who successfully drove down the field. With 8:00 left in the quarter, Panther Jalen Nelson (#1) rushed into the end zone scoring the first points of the game. After Horizon kicked an extra point, they had the lead 7-0.
The Hornets failed to score on their possession, giving the Panthers position for yet another drive into the end zone where Thomas Marcus (#10) completed a 50-yard pass, connecting with Matt Simpson (#7) for the second touchdown of the evening.
Keeping the momentum in the Panthers’ favor, and with seconds on the clock, they scored again, as Thomas rushed from the 45-yard line, securing their lead before the end of the first quarter. With the extra point, the Panthers headed into the second quarter with a score of 21-0.
The second quarter saw the Hornets with a decent drive down the field, but they ended up punting back to the Panthers. With 10:00 left in the half, Horizon’s Simpson rushed for 12 yards, getting his second touchdown of the night, making the score 28-0.
On the next possession, Calipatria’s luck changed as they earned their first points of the game, resulting in a complete change of pace for the team. Driving down the field, the Hornets scored a 12-yard rushing touchdown. Risking it and going for two points, Robert Cervantes (#4) created a successful run, bringing Calipat on the board 28-8.
But Horizon answered with two more touchdowns in the half, putting the score at 43-8, making Calipatria eager to lower the deficit.
With two minutes left in the half, the Hornets benefitted from a seven-yard rush from George Rubalcava (#34), earning them six points when they failed an attempted two-point conversion.
By the end of the first half, Calipat managed one more touchdown from a 14-yard pass from Cervantes to Nate Banuelos. Going into halftime, the Hornets had cut the Panthers’ lead in half with a score of 43-22.
Starting the third quarter, the Panthers seemed eager to gain back control of the tempo, and scored on a 22-yard pass from Marcus to Nelson in the end zone, bring the score to 49-22.
Remaining scoreless for the remainder of the third quarter, the Hornets’ offense took to the field, trying to get back in the game. Calipatria did just that, driving down the field and managing a 10-yard run to push them into the zone.
As time wasted away, both teams had trouble moving down the field until late in the fourth quarter. The Hornets’ Cervantes broke the slow streak with a pass to Banuelos for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The Hornets tried for two again, and made it with a successful scramble by Banuelos.
While Calipatria fought hard and came back from a big deficit, Horizon Christian Academy were the victors, winning with a final score of 49-36.
The loss by the Hornets eliminated them from CIF play and brings their season record to 7-5.