BRAWLEY – It was â€œRunning Cats and Dogsâ€ at Warne Field in Brawley Friday evening (Pop Warner Night). Passing didnâ€™t look to be on the agenda for either team. Both the Wildcats and Bulldogs went on a Running Rampage but Brawley doubled Calexicoâ€™s total yardage in the game. (Brawley had 370 yards on 54 carries- Calexico 185 yards on 45 carries) When the game ended a short two hours later, the Wildcats had improved its record to 5-1 with a 42-14 win.
The Wildcats defense was quick to recover a Calexico fumble on the 45 yard line in the Bulldogs opening drive. Nico Aguirre, who has come on strong after game two of the season, rushed for 26 of his 168 yards on the night. A pass to Bryce Alexander took the ball to the one yard line and it paved the way for a TD plunge of 1 yard by Andrew Ortiz. Ortiz eventually score 4 touchdowns in the game. At 7:33 in the first quarter, Brawley led 7-0.
Calexico fared better on its next drive after a confusing play during the kickoff. A high pooch kickoff, that wasnâ€™t attempted to be fielded or caught by any Bulldog, was picked out of the air by a Brawley defender. A penalty of 15 yards was assessed against the Wildcats, and Calexico took it and ran an 11 play drive that covered 53 yards. The score was knotted up at 7-7 with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter.
The Wildcats defense contained the Bulldogs running game. They didnâ€™t allow a run longer than 13 yards all game. On the other hand, the Wildcats next possession chewed up large amounts of real estate.
Seven plays and 67 yards later the Wildcats took the lead that remained the rest of the game.
Nico Aguirreâ€™s outstanding run for a 32 yard TD run put the Cats up 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Calexico punted the first of its five possessions on the ensuing drive. The Wildcats changed field position in one play that started at its 31 yard line to the Calexico 25. It was a 41 yard run by Andrew Ortiz who was giving defensive coaches headaches all evening. A short one yard TD run by Ross Rubio gave the Cats a 21-7 lead with 7:42 left in the half.
Although the Bulldogs moved their next possession into Brawley territory from its own 25 yard line, they were forced to punt again with 3:32 left in the half. With ball and time control, the Cats found themselves in a punting situation on the Bulldog side of the field. A time out was called and a fake punt trick was foiled by the suspicious Calexico defense. The Bulldogs had the ball with 54.6 seconds left in the half.
The thought of any momentum changer was shut down on their next play. Calexico attempted its first pass of the game and it was intercepted by Bryce Alexander at the Brawley 48 yard line. Needing to strike quickly, Ross Rubio threw to Donavin Buck for a 48 yard pass to the Bulldog 4 yard line. Two plays later Andrew Ortiz scored his TD as the quarter expired. At halftime it was 28-7 in favor of Brawley.
The second half began with the Wildcats receiving the kickoff. A drive of over four minutes began at Brawleyâ€™s own 27 yard line ended in the end zone of Calexico at 7:56 left in the third quarter. Unfortunately, Rubio had his first intercepted pass this season and the Bulldogs ran it to the Calexico 34 yard line.
The Bulldogs had success on the run, but at the Brawley 27 the Wildcats defense forced another fumble. They recovered and possession of the ball changed.
Less than three minutes later, Andrew Ortiz scored his third touchdown of the game which put the Cats up 35-7 with 2:32 left in the third.
Both teams exchanged punts and Brawley scored on a short, three-play drive of 33 yards. Andrew Ortiz scored on the third play with a 14-yard TD run giving a 42-7 lead.
A late score by the Bulldogs brought it to the final score of 42-14.
Coming up next week will be the most anticipated game of the season. The rivalry that has been marinating since Imperial Tigers entered the IVL in 2009 will be at its peak 7p.m., October 18th, at Warne Field in Brawley. The Tigers only victory over the Wildcats has been in Brawley in 2011. This game can put the winner in the driverâ€™s seat for the IVL Title. This is also the game in which Royce Freeman could break the San Diego Section CIF total rushing title.
Get your tickets and arrive early.