Still In Disbelief

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A blue and gold chair each sit in a diner in Indio before Brawley Union High's first win of the season last Friday. Photo by: Ernest Ramos
A blue and gold chair each sit in a diner in Indio before Brawley Union High’s first win of the season last Friday. Photo by: Ernest Ramos

Just before the game last Friday, about an hour short of kickoff, the only place that was near Shadow Hills High School was a small little burger joint called the Burger Box.

Being nostalgic we decided to give the old place a try. I remembered eating here in the 70’s and 80’s but hadn’t been there for at least 20 years or so, I had lost count.

A strange thing occurred as I waited for my order to be completed. Far back in the corner of the outdoor patio (rustic looking is the nicest way to describe it), two chairs attracted my attention from the dingy white and dusty red trimmed tables. Those two chairs were “Blue and Yellow” that resembled Brawley Union High Wildcat colors.

As I walked towards the two empty seats I jokingly murmured to myself, “If there are any Brawley football gods sitting down in those seats, we just might need your help tonight.” I thought of the many Wildcat names from the past that included one who had recently passed away that same day (Steve Mendoza). I captured a photo of the two lone Wildcat thrones without anyone noticing, got my food, and little did I know what would happen a few hours later at the game.

When it comes to field goals, the Brawley Wildcats have unfortunately been on the wrong side of the scoreboard. A couple of Bell Game losses to the Central Union Spartans of El Centro and the infamous loss at Qualcomm against the Valley Center Jaguars quickly come to mind. Faithful Brawley Wildcat fans probably can’t remember the last time a field goal was attempted and made by the “Blue and Gold” and were victorious on the same night. The last four games where the Wildcats were successful in a field goal all resulted in losses. This one, on this night, would be “The Shot That Shocked the Desert” with different results- in more ways than one.

So many things are fascinating about this kick. After further reviewing the game, the wind that aided the miracle shot had prevented an almost sure touchdown on the opposite side of the field. On third and long, the Knights chance to score fell a yard shot of the outstretched hands of a Shadow Hills receiver.

It would have been a first down at the two-yard line. The next play was an interception and returned for 38 yards by senior Kevin Kastner, the first hero of this game.

The Wildcats got a favorable spot at the 42-yard line. It could have easily been placed at the 44-yard line where the ball appeared to have intersected with the Knight’s sideline. So many things could have gone wrong as opposed to the one thing that could have gone right. A bad snap, a blocked kick and long return for a touchdown could all have been disastrous results. But from the moment the ball was kicked, it not only had a chance, but went between the uprights and over the crossbar with an incredible reaction from both sides of the field. One side was shocked and quiet while the other celebrated in disbelief.

Things are going to change or are in the process of changing because of one long kick. For one, the videos have gone viral where one is getting close to a half million views. As the news spreads, I am pretty sure there were coaches at the next level making calls to Billy Brewer, the athletic director at Brawley. The instant fifteen minutes of fame for senior kicker David Quintero most likely has him walking on clouds this week.

There are a few humorous things that no one has heard of until they read this week’s “After Further Review” column.

Here are the “Top Five Things That Will Result From The 60-Yard Field Goal” after last Friday’s games.

  1. Footballs will be inspected for proper inflation to prevent “deflate-gate 2”
  2. Wildcat fans will be yelling “kick a field goal” on every fourth down the Brawley has no matter what side of the 50-yard line they are on
  3. Being superstitious, Brawley will line-up 10 players instead of 11 when attempting future field goals. (Brawley had only 10 players on the field during this now infamous kick)
  4. A Westmoreland volunteer will be asked to bring the ball back to Warne Field when kicking extra points into the west end zone
  5. Brawley Airport air traffic controllers will have to give permission for clearance when field goal attempts are made at the east end zone of Warne Field

How this field goal impacts the rest of the season remains to be seen. It took three complete games to achieve their first lead in a game all season. The Wildcats are now 1-2 and traveling to Yuma to face the Cibola Raiders.

The Raiders have a 2-2 record. Their top player is Bailey Arvizo who has already passed for 1019 yards on 82 completions. He was six yards short of 400 yards against the Imperial Tigers in their second game of the season. Arvizo had thrown for seven touchdown passes and four interceptions. Four receivers have 10 or more receptions and over 100 yards each.

Leading receivers are Jacob Duarte and Alfredo Munoz with 217 and 222 yards respectively. The Raiders average 107 yards per game in rushing to compliment the air attack. Arvizo and Duarte get the majority of the carries in the 429 rushing yards this season.

The Wildcats rushed for 239 yards on 48 carries last Friday. Top rusher was Nathan Suits with 108 yards on 17 carries. He was credited with two touchdowns, After Further Review, game film clearly showed the football reaching the goal line before it went loose into the end zone. Although, Isaiah Martinez was quick in his reaction and made a heads up play, it will go down as an 8-yard touchdown run for Suits.  The other score was made by Austyn Gutierrez (nine carries for 51 yards) on a one-yard run.

Next was A.J. Grijalva with nine carries and 41 yards, George Mickle had 21 yards on five carries and Moises Lazos finishes the list with 19 yards on seven carries and Kastner had a huge 38-yard pass reception for Grijalva’s only completion on five attempts.

Can the Wildcats even up their record to 2-2 in Yuma this Friday? The Raiders will be looking for their first ever victory against the Wildcats as they try to improve their 2-2 record. Game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

And the last time Brawley made a field goal in a game and WON: November 16th, 2007 at Warne Field.