BRAWLEY – It was “A Night in Neverland” Homecoming theme at Warne Field in Brawley as the Brawley Union High School Wildcats hosted the Calexico High School Bulldogs. An evening of celebrations including members of the Class of 1965 celebrating their 50th class reunion.
As lightning threatened on the horizon, real strikes of quick touchdowns and scoring were occurring on the playing field. The Wildcats coasted to a 37-6 victory over the Bulldogs to improve their record to 4-3 for the season.
Defense for the Wildcats rode its success from the previous three games. They allowed only 10 rushing yards on 18 carries and 82 yards of passing. They made their presence felt on Calexico’s first opening kickoff drive where the Bulldogs ended at negative 17 yards and punted to Brawley.
The Wildcats started its first drive at the Calexico 46-yard line and used eight plays to get within inches of their first score, but the stingy Bulldogs blocked any touchdown.
With the ball just grazing the goal line, Brawley’s defense recorded the first points of the game on a safety when a Bulldog run was stuffed in the backfield. The Wildcats were up 2-0 early in first quarter.
Calexico kicked off to Brawley from their 20-yard line following the safety and Brawley’s Nathan Suits took the kick and darted along the Brawley sideline for a quick score on the 75-yard return. David Quintero extended the lead to 9-0 with the extra-point.
On their next possession the Bulldogs moved the ball with better results and a first down. Three passes were completed for 22 yards by quarterback Frank Moreno (8-14-82 yards and 2 interceptions) but Kevin Kastner intercepted Moreno’s fourth pass attempt. A return and a Calexico penalty moved the ball to the Wildcat 49-yard line and the offense had its second drive of the game.
Still in the first quarter, but not knowing the time left due to a malfunctioning scoreboard, the Wildcats stuttered on their first two plays, but a huge pass play from quarterback George Mickle to Moises Lazos reached the Bulldog 15-yard line for a 41-yard gain. From there, Suits (11 carries for 109 yards) ran for 15 yards and his second touchdown of the evening. Mickle had 5 completions and 115 yards passing of which 79 of those yards were to Lazos on three of those completions. Late in the first quarter, the Wildcats led 16-0.
Receiving the punt in the second quarter at the Wildcat 31-yard line, Lazos ran it back for what seemed to be an apparent touchdown, but was called back due to a Brawley penalty. Brawley began at its 47-yard line after the penalty was marked off fifteen yards from the foul. From there it took seven plays for the Wildcats to extend the lead to 23-0. In this drive, Austyn Gutierrez (6 carries and 36 yards) got his first of two touchdowns on the evening. This one was from five yards.
Another three-and-out by the Bulldogs allowed a second chance for Lazos on the punt return. A big 50-yard return took the ball to the Calexico 19-yard line where only one play was needed to make the score 30-0. Gutierrez did the honors going in untouched for the last score before intermission.
After the crowning of royalty, the Wildcats received the kickoff in the third quarter. Starting possession at their own 30-yard line, Suits ran for 14 yards then Lazos took a pitch and went 56 yards for his first touchdown of the year.
It was now 37-0 and the dry jerseys along the Wildcat sidelines would begin to enter the game.
Scoring for Calexico Bulldogs occurred on the fourth play into the fourth quarter. Frank Moreno connected on a 44-yard pass for a touchdown. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 37-6 for the final.
The last two drives for the Wildcats had fans cheering for the dry jerseys. Joey Garcia entered as the third string quarterback and nearly drove the Wildcats to a score. Handing off the ball to Fernando Razo (10 carries and 29 yards), a score would come up 14 yards short and the game ended.
Brawley (4-3, 2-0 IVL) sets up a pivotal IVL game against Imperial High at 7 p.m. Friday in Brawley. Calexico (0-7, 0-2 IVL) will play at Central Union High at 7 p.m. Friday.[envira-gallery id=”66384″]