EL CENTRO — The Imperial High football team opened up the 2015 Imperial Valley League season with a 38-13 victory over Central Union High Friday night.
Behind the arm of quarterback Aaron Bonillas and a big defensive night from David Savage the Tigers controlled the action early and pulled away late in impressive fashion.
The night started off as a kicking battle as Central scored two field goals (a 34 and 36-yarder) to the Tigers one (a 34-yarder) and headed to a low-scoring 6-3 contest at halftime.
It was then that the Tiger offense shook off the cobwebs and scored the first touchdown on a four-play, 70-yard drive capped by a 40-yard pass from Bonillas to Raymond Beamon with 4:01 left in the first half.
After a Spartan four-and-out the Imperial offense, now rolling on all cylinders, took only two plays to find the end zone again. This time it was again Bonillas, but on the ground, with a five-yard quarterback sneak with a little over two minutes left in the half.
The Tigers continued their offensive show in the second half as it only took two ground plays with sophomore Ben Hueso. The first rush was a 15-yard gain followed by a 49-yard touchdown run, capping the 64-yard drive.
After a Savage defensive interception on Central’s next possession, Bonillas and Beamon again showed off the Tiger aerial assault as they connected for a 26-yard touchdown on the first offensive snap after the Central turnover.
From there Hueso added another touchdown, this one from 26-yards out.
Central found the end zone late on a touchdown pass to Gian-Carlo Coronado to bring the score to its 38-13 final.
On the night Bonillas, threw for 257 yards on 14 completions in 19 attempts and two touchdowns. Bonillas also rushed for a touchdown. Hueso rushed for 146 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. Defensively, Savage “batted for the cycle” with a forced fumble, sack, fumble recovery, and an interception.
“We’re 1-0 just like two other teams in the league are 1-0. We’re happy but we are not satisfied,” said Imperial head coach Kerry Legarra after the IVL victory.
The Tigers went up against one of the toughest preseason schedules in recent years and although the record might not reflect the resiliency of this team, Friday’s win did.
“People don’t know what they have gone through, that they have never quit, that’s the character of this football team, they never quit” Legarra added.
Imperial (1-5, 1-0 IVL) will host Southwest High at 7 p.m. Friday in the Johnny Romero Fireman’s Helmet game while Central (2-4, 0-1 IVL) will play at Palo Verde Valley at 7 p.m. Friday in Blythe.