YUMA – Brawley Union High School Wildcats invaded a Hawk’s lair in the foothills of Yuma at Gila Ridge High Friday night and had a tougher game than most anticipated.
Going into the contest with an 0-4 record, Gila Ridge proved they were not pushovers on their turf. Brawley scored on its first two possessions, and were able to hold a vigilant Hawk’s squad that was looking for an upset and their first victory. It was not to be for Gila Ridge, as the Brawley Wildcats won 27-6.
Gila Ridge was backed up to its own 3 yard line to begin the game on their first drive. Brawley pushed them back a yard on two runs, but a nice 27 yard pass by Junior QB Brandon Kehl showed early signs that he was going to be a headache for the Wildcat defense. Brawley forced a punt three plays later and started their first drive of the evening.
The Wildcats hit the Trifecta Friday evening as three running backs carried for over 100 yards each. Isaac Comparan, Bryce Alexander, and Nico Aguirre all reached the century mark.
Beginning at its own 15 yard line, short runs were mixed in with a long 75 yard carry by Alexander. Ross Rubio put the exclamation point on the drive with a 2 yard plunge for a 7-0 lead at 5:43 in the first quarter.
Gila Ridge’s next drive was reminiscent of the week before at Cibola. They punted after only 2 yards gained and Brawley had the ball with 4:25 left in the first.
Consuming the clock, a successful formula by Brawley, the Wildcats used a 12 play drive that carried into the second quarter. With 11:16 left in the half the Wildcat’s Isaac Comparan scored his first of two touchdowns of the evening. It was now 14-0 and it appeared the game might be a mirror of last week’s shutout. Gila Ridge had other things in mind.
The next drive for the Hawks was a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. They began at their 15 yard line after almost losing possession on the kickoff. The headaches began for the Wildcats as Gila Ridge QB Kehl scrambled for big yardage gains on the ups and big sacks for losses by the Brawley defense. Big completions and a costly personal foul by the Wildcats were enough to get the Hawks into Wildcats territory.
While there were many flags thrown on the evening, the flags seemed to hurt the Hawk’s more than helped them. This was evident when a touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty. There were four QB sacks by the Wildcats defense stalling the drive, and the Hawks turned the ball back to the Wildcats.
The next drive aimed for a three score Brawley lead, but it petered at Gila Ridge’s 38. This set up the only scoring drive for the Hawks. Big passes and runs by the elusive strong armed QB, Gila Ridge scored with a short 3 yard run 1:18 left in the half. The point after attempt failed leaving the score at halftime 14-6.
After making halftime adjustments, the Wildcats finally took control of the game. Six minutes into the opening drive, the Cats pulled away with a Nico Aguirre TD run of seven yards. The lead pulled to 20-6 after the point after was blocked.
A short three and out for Gila Ridge, the Wildcat offense was back on the prowl to extend the lead. Almost four minutes later, the drive found Comparan carrying five straight times with a five yard TD run to increase the lead 27-6 with seconds left in the third.
The final quarter found both teams’ defenses pulling out all stops. Neither team scored again, although Gila Ridge reached the Wildcat 10 yard line late the game. In that drive, an incomplete pass in the end zone with 0:42.1 seconds in the game denied the Hawks from scoring two TD’s in one game this season.
Most IVL teams will be on a “Bye” week next Friday as they prepare for IVL League play. The Wildcats are now 4-1 and are looking to repeat as Champs of the IVL. The Imperial Tigers (5-0), who haven’t trailed at any point in a game so far this season, are looking to capture its second IVL title since merging into the league in fall 2009. Brawley’s first IVL game is October 11th against the visiting Calexico Bulldogs (3-2).
BUHS at Gila Ridge 2013