IMPERIAL — It was looking to serve as a David versus Goliath match-up for the Imperial High Tigers as they hosted the Carlsbad High Lancers on Friday night, but in this rendition Goliath won as the Tigers fell, 72-21, to the CIF-San Diego Section Division I squad.
Again the Tigers had moments early, but just could not seem to get over the hump before falling behind big in the second half.
Carlsbad quarterback Shane Morales gave the Lancers the first lead of the game on a fourth-and-two quarterback keeper which caught the Tiger defenders off guard leading to a 41-yard touchdown run with 7:33 left in the first quarter.
After a Tiger punt was downed at the Lancer 35-yard line, it only took one play for the Lancers to strike again as Josiah Villagomez raced down the right sideline for the 65-yard touchdown run.
After both teams exchanged possession for no scores, the Tigers utilized the pass game as Aaron Bonillas hit Raymond Beamon for a 46-yard touchdown reception, cutting the Lancers lead 14-7.
From there, the Lancers went on a 34-7 second quarter run with the Tiger touchdown being provided by a Brandon Hueso 80-yard touchdown run, bringing the halftime score to 48-14 in favor of the Lancers.
After halftime the Lancers continued to pour it on behind a strong running game led by Villagomez, who finished with 188 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns, and an aerial attack from Morales who finished going 6-for-12 for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Morales also added a touchdown run as well en route to a 72-21 Lancer victory.
A bright spot for the Tigers, who were missing key starters on both sides of the ball, was an improving offense that included sophomore Hueso who rushed for 142 yards on 16 carries and an 80-yard touchdown run. Senior play caller, Bonillas, finished the night 11-for-18 for 159 yards and two long touchdown passes, both to junior Beamon.
“I saw a team that didn’t quit and played with heart and character,” said Imperial head coach Kerry Legarra. “We could have thrown in the towel, but we didn’t, we played for 48 minutes and that is all you can ask.”
Up next, the Tigers (0-3, 0-0 IVL) will be on the road taking on the Valley Center Jaguars at 7 p.m. Friday at Valley Center High in Escondido.