EL CENTROÂ â€“ The Blythe Palo Verde Yellow Jackets football team fended off Calexico’s persistent Vincent Memorial Scots team playing at Southwest High in El Centro Saturday night, winning 28-13.
The first quarter began with the Scots grinding into the Yellow Jacket defense, driving 78 yards and chewing up the clock for over seven minutes.
On a failed fourth down conversion in the red-zone, the Scots’ starting QB, Eduardo Valenzuela (#12), sustained a booming hit, knocking him out of the game.
With 2:55 left, Yellow Jacket wide receiver Terry Daniels (#30), caught a bomb at the 30-yard line, then shook a defender and ran 25 yards untouched into the end-zone for a 7-0 lead after the extra point.
â€œMy team lifted me up and I just ran my route the way coaches wanted me to,â€ said Daniels about the reception.
A rushing touchdown by Joseph Lopez (#10) of the Yellow Jackets, put Palo Verde into a 14-0 lead going into the half.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Yellow Jacket running back Bryce Callaghan (#21) zig-zagged through the Vincent Memorial defense and broke away to score Palo Verdeâ€™s third touchdown of the night.
Down 21-0, with 9:25 left in the fourth quarter, the Scots got on the board with a short pass on a fourth down to tight end Sebastian Cervantes (#82), making the score 21-7.
Then the Yellow Jackets fumbled the ball on their own 15-yard line which was recovered by the Scots guard Adrian Navarro (#52). The turnover lead to another scoring reception by Vincent Memorial’s Sebastian Cervantes, giving the Scots a flash of hope, now trailing only 21-13 with just over six minutes left in the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jacket’s Callaghan dashed past the Scotsâ€™ defense, scoring again, and deflating the hope of Vincent Memorial down now 28-13 with roughly three minutes left in the game. The Scots never recovered from that last staggering blow.
â€œWe were a bit hobbled today,” said David Wong, Vincent Memorial’s head coach. “The biggest impact of the game was when we lost our starting QB because our back-up got injured in the JV game earlier. Therefore, we were playing with our third string quarterback for most of this game.â€
â€œWe know they (Vincent Memorial) are a physical football team, thatâ€™s why they went 10-2 last season,” said George Dagnino, Palo Verde’s head coach. “We hadnâ€™t seen any film on them yet, so our game plan was to adjust on the fly. We wanted to rely on our intensity. We work hard on conditioning and figured we could out-condition them in the second half.â€[envira-gallery id=”83669”]