CALEXICO — The Imperial Tigers quest for a repeat IVL title began Friday night in Calexico as they took on an undefeated Calexico High Bulldog squad, in a prime IVL matchup.
Although the Bulldogs put up a fight early, the scoreless Tigers got a break as they lined up for a field goal in the first quarter, when Calexico called a timeout. Imperial rethought their strategy during the break, and from the 10-yard line, 4th down, Brandon Hueso was handed the ball and scored the first touchdown of the game.
Both defenses held until Imperial got their second break of the game. Early in the second quarter, Imperial tackled Calexico punter Frank Moreno at the Calexico 22 yard line after a high snap delayed the punt.
Four plays later, Imperial QB Pete Sanchez (26 attempts for 17 completions, 4 carries for 14 yards) threw to Santiago De La Torre (#13) for a 7-yard touchdown. The Tigers added two with a conversion by senior Josh Gutierrez (#6).
Calexico scored in the second quarter with a 3 yard pass from QB Frank Moreno (#11) to wide receiver Alex Rivera (#33).
As the halftime score read 15-7 in the Tigers favor, in the end the Tigers would pull away late behind two second half touchdown passes from debut quarterback Pete Sanchez who threw for three total touchdowns and 207 yards on the night. The first to Raymond Beamon in the third quarter and the second to Santiago De La Torre in the fourth, giving the Tigers a 29-13 victory, their first of the season and handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.
“Were 1-0 now just like two other teams that won their games tonight,” said Tiger head coach, Kerry Legarra.
“Were the defending champions until we get knocked off, so we’ve got to start preparing for Central and that’s next game.”
The Tigers host the Central High Spartans next Friday with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
Calexico travels to Palo Verde next Friday in hopes of regaining their momentum. Kickoff at 7 p.m.