HOLTVILLE — It was a tale of two stories here Friday as the undefeated Southwest High Eagles looked to avoid their first loss and the hosting Holtville High Vikings were still seeking their first win of the football season.
The Eagles continued to soar as they had one of their best overall performances of the year with a 42-6 win over the Vikings.
“Heading in we are just trying to take it game by game and get better each week,” Southwest sophomore quarterback Cameron Jungers said. “It feels good to be undefeated, but we have to keep working … 10-0 sounds a lot better than 4-0.”
Youth is a big part of the Eagles squad this season as three of the four main ball handlers on offense are sophomores. Jungers, along with running back Justin Cordova and wingback Tyler Saikhon led Southwest in a big offensive output.
It was a sophomore connection for the first score of the game as Jungers hit Saikhon on a 40-yard catch and run touchdown to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Holtville took the ensuing kickoff to the 50-yard line and drove inside the Eagle 15-yard line where they came close to tying the game.
On second down, Vikings quarterback Anthony Castro heaved a ball into the back of the end zone towards Fernando Marin, but as the pass hit Marin’s hands it was jarred lose by an Eagle defender. The ball hit the ground in an incomplete pass.
Holtville wasn’t able to convert for the score as they failed a fourth down conversion attempt ending the drive.
In the second quarter, the Eagles found the end zone on a big play as Saikhon ran 26 yards for the score making it a 14-0 game.
“Our linemen opened all the holes for us and we had an overall good game tonight,” the 16-year-old Saikhon said.
The Vikings later found themselves back in the Eagles redzone but for a second time they couldn’t convert points turning the ball over on another failed fourth down conversion.
“Some of that is my fault … I wasn’t doing my job in reading the defense. That’s on me … we need to watch film and fix those mistakes,” said Castro.
At halftime the score was 14-0 in favor of Southwest and it would favor the Eagles the rest of the game.
The Eagles found the end zone three times in the third quarter through three different types of scoring.
Southwest’s Gio Camarena scored the first on a two-yard run, Rodrigo Canedo then recovered a fumble in the end zone that resulted from a bad snap on a Holtville punt attempt and finally Cordova took a kickoff 87 yards to the house to cap the quarter.
Amidst the Eagle scoring in the third quarter, the Vikings scored their only points of the game on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Brice Bolin from Castro, giving them six points after a failed extra point attempt.
In the fourth quarter, Saikhon ended the scoring with a 58-yard touchdown run.
In the game for the Eagles, Saikhon finished with 115 yards rushing and the touchdowns on ten carries, 100 yards receiving with a touchdown on four catches and an interception.
Cordova finished with 104 yards rushing on 15 carries and Jungers finished going 6-for-6 for 110 yards and a touchdown throwing the ball.
“I just wanted to do my job and get the ball in the hands of the receivers … they did the rest of it,” Jungers said.
They may be young but the Eagles are out to prove they belong.
“Right now we are working harder than the teams in front of us, we are more disciplined and want to win and change the culture at Southwest,” Saikhon said. “We are sophomores and underclassmen and need to prove ourselves, they shouldn’t underestimate us.”
Overall it was another tough game for the Vikings as they still haven’t gotten that illusive first win.
“It’s a little frustrating but I have trust in my teammates out there and we are staying positive on the field … we can’t drop our heads we have to keep working hard like we have been to get that win,” Castro said. “It’s going to mean a lot to us when we get that first win but right now this is not Viking football, Viking football is about winning and we need to get back to that.”
Holtville (0-4, 0-0 ML) will host Calvary Murrieta and Southwest (4-0, 0-0 IVL) will travel to play Yuma. Both games are set for 7 p.m. Friday.[envira-gallery id=”64622″]