PALO VERDE – The Brawley Wildcat football team enjoyed its seventh win, sixth in a row, when they visited the “Green and Yellow” Palo Verde High Yellow Jackets on Friday evening.
There wasn’t a dry or clean jersey on the Wildcat’s sidelines when the night was over. Most, if not all players, had found playing time Friday night. When the final gun sounded, eight different Wildcat players had scored a touchdown, of which, two players (Misael Soto and Richard Ramirez) had their first TD’s of the season. The final was 62-6.
The Yellow Jackets, under Head Coach George Dagnino, have had much success in recent years, including a trip to the Championships at Quaalcom the same year as the Wildcats back in 2004.
The first half of the game was evident that this was a rebuilding season for his Jackets. Opening up the game by receiving the kickoff, Palo Verde began on its 16 yard line. Three plays amounted to a minus one yard and they would punt. The Wildcats had their chance and start on their own 39 yard line.
The Wildcats didn’t miss a beat from last week as they established the line of scrimmage dominance by the offensive line. A steady stream of handoffs to Isaac Comparan and Jared Mohammed would move the ball to the Jackets 39. The recipe for a Wildcat touchdown soon changed when on the next two plays Josh Godinez completed two passes to Comparan and Donovan Buck to reach the 6 yard line. From there Godinez scored on a QB run, Wildcats led 7-0 after PAT with 5:51 left in the first quarter.
Palo Verde would not convert any first downs the entire first half of the game due to an unyielding Wildcats defense. They were forced to punt with 3:55 remaining in first quarter and the Wildcats would begin this time on their 43 yard line.
Again after a few runs, the Wildcats found success in the air when Godinez completed a pass to Hunter Wharton and reached the Jacket 24 yard line. Two runs by Comparan covered twenty four yards and another score with 57 seconds left in first. The PAT was good Brawley led 14-0.
The Wildcats started their third drive after backing the Jackets to a 4th and 21 from their eight yard line. The punt took a long bounce and it was the Wildcats at their own 43 yard line. Eleven seconds later Bryce Alexander covered the next 56 yards and ran in for the third score of the night. PAT was good and the score was 21-0 at the 11:34 mark.
Jackets were again backed to a 4th and 30 and punted at the 10:10 point of the second period. Brawley would start at the 48.
With 7:17 showing on the clock, the Wildcats had covered 52 yards on seven plays and a final run of one yard by Jared Mohammed. The PAT was good 28-0.
With some success on the next drive by moving the ball 9 yards to their own 35, the Jackets were faced with a decision to go for a 4th and 1. They elected to punt and forced the Wildcats to work for every scoring opportunity. Settling at their 30, the punt put the Wildcats in their worst field position of the evening.
The Wildcats used the last 3:50 on the clock for the final score of the first half. Passing twice with one completion, the team surprised the fans by doing something rare in the previous seven games, passing. This helped the running game as the prescription for another score went back to doses of Comparan, Tanner Rollins and a second score by Jared Mohammed. The PAT was good it was now 35-0.
Alexander received the kickoff at the one and raced to the 35 yard line of the Jackets. On the second play from scrimmage, more passing success found Donovan Buck in the back of the end zone with a 23 yard TD pass and after the PAT it was 42-0 with only thirty seconds into the second half.
Palo Verde offense began facing some clean and dry uniforms on the defensive side as the Wildcats began substituting backups for the starters.
On the drive, the Jackets were finally able to achieve their first, first down. They moved the ball into Brawley territory but when a fumble occurred on a sweep by the Jackets it was covered by Remington Campbell for a turnover on downs. The Wildcats did not take advantage as they were stopped on a 4th and 1 at their own 41.
It took only two plays by the Jackets to find the end zone after a long pass to the 5 and a short five yard TD run. The 2-point conversion fell short of the end zone and it was 42-6.
Sophomore QB Ross Rubio was now taking the snaps from center as fresh new linemen were being substituted into the game. Rubio handed off to some first stringers for their last carries of the evening. From the 31 yard line, the newest ball carrier was Misael Soto who took advantage of the opportunity and ran to the Jackets 15 yard line. Tanner Rollins, now playing fullback, scored his first TD of the game at the 4:50 point of the third quarter. The PAT was blocked it was 48-6.
Brawley defense wasn’t settled and allowed a big run by the Jackets from their own 16 to the Wildcats 33. Once they settled down and gained composure, they forced the Jackets to attempt a 4th and 10 from the Cats 33. A QB sack caused a fumble and Brawley recovered at their 38 at the 3:20 mark of the third quarter.
On the first play of this drive, Misael Soto showcased his speed as he took a pitch and carried the rock to the Jackets 13 yard line. The alert and curious Wildcat fans in the stands could be heard asking, “Who carried that?” When he was given the ball four plays later, the announcer informed the crowd, “Touchdown, Misael Soto for the Wildcats”. The PAT was good again, 55-6. A running clock started in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats defense again held Palo Verde to only two first downs and after a couple incomplete passes, Ross Rubio would start another drive.
He used Tanner Rollins, still the fullback, until Brawley was forced to punt. On the punt, Jackets return man muffed the kick and Brawley fell on the loose ball.
The last score was a 34 yard drive with a few runs by Rollins and a run by Rubio. The last TD scoring run was a two yarder on fourth down by Richard Ramirez, thus the eighth Wildcat player to score in the evening. It was Ramirez’s first TD of the year for him that counted. Two weeks ago, he opened up some eyes when he scored on a long 31 yard run against Calexico. It was negated on a penalty at the time but this score would hold and that is how it ended, 62-6.
The Wildcats now return home for their final two games of IVL against both teams from El Centro. Southwest Eagles come into town knowing the last time they beat the Wildcats was on Warne Field and caused the sharing of the IVL title that year. It is also Homecoming week for Brawley.
The Spartans will follow on November 2nd and it could have implications of the IVL title, also.
Photo Gallery pictures by Dina Self[nggallery id=21]