Wildcats Shutout the Knights

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BRAWLEY – It was Shadow Hills first time on Warne Field Friday night and it was one they would soon like to forget. On Parent Night in Brawley, the Knights were in for a medieval encounter of gridiron proportions. Through the first quarter, Shadow Hills defense equaled the Wildcats, but once Brawley got on track there was no slowing them down. By the final quarter, the Wildcats, as they did the week before, put on a stellar defensive performance and kept the Knights from putting any points on the scoreboard. When the final seconds ticked off, the Wildcats had their first shutout of the year 35-0.

Both teams struggled offensively on their first drives (or played well on defense in the ‘glass is half full’ perspective). Shadow Hills actually moved the ball well on their second drive from scrimmage moving into Wildcat territory up to the 30-yard line. The drive began from their own 27-yard line. It stalled on Brawley’s 35-yard line and the Wildcats allowed the Knights into Brawley territory only once more in the game. Both defenses kept the other from scoring the rest of the first quarter.

The second quarter totally contrasted the first, after forcing a Shadow Hills punt, the Wildcats drove from their 27 yard line. Two short runs by Ross Rubio and Andrew Ortiz made it appear that the defensive struggle would continue. Then in one play, the air exploded with the home crowd cheering an electrifying 68 yard TD pass from Rubio (3-6-84 yards) to Nico Aguirre. The PAT went wide right, though, and it was 6-0 early in the second.

The Knights put on another impressive drive with ball control until they reached the Brawley 35 yard line again. This time a fumble proved to be costly for Shadow Hills. The next drive for the Wildcats took only two runs by Andrew Ortiz (24 carries- 157 yards) for a lead increase. The runs covered 24 and 44 yards respectively. The PAT was good for a halftime lead of 13-0.

Coming into the game with over 300 yards rushing last week, Isaiah Ortega-Dage was held to only 66 on Friday night. Brawley’s defense held the Knights to only 126 total yards of offense the entire game. The Wildcats received the kickoff starting the second half and when the Knights did so, Nico Aguirre once again electrified the home crowd with a 90-yard kickoff to begin the third quarter. He ran right to left along the Brawley sideline. The score was now 21-0 with 11:44 left in the third after a two-point conversion run by Andrew Ortiz.

After a defensive stance, the Wildcats next scoring drive of ten plays pushed through 50 yards. The final punctuation was a one-yard plunge by Andrew Ortiz for his second TD of the evening. The PAT was good and it was 28-0.

Both teams traded defensive stances for the remainder of the third quarter, as the score remained the same. In the fourth quarter, Shadow Hills stopped a scoring threat by the Wildcats when it intercepted a Ross Rubio pass at its 25-yard line. Wildcat Nick Amezcua decided he would one up the Knights with an interception of his own and a 27 yard TD return to put the game into a running clock mode at 35-0.

The Wildcats prevailed against a team that was riding an emotional high from last week’s big win. They now have a 2-1 record with two more games left before IVL play begins. Next in line for Brawley are the Raiders from Cibola out of Yuma. Cibola is undefeated this year against Imperial Valley teams with wins over the Imperial Tigers and the Calexico Bulldogs. They have a potent offense that put up 62 points on Calexico last night. Will the Wildcat defense be up for the test next week?

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Imperial Valley Football Scores

Brawley 35
Indio 0
Calexico 34
Cibola 62
Imperial 6
Sweetwater 24
Southwest EC 35
Southwest SD 0
Holtville 30
Desert Mirage 12
Calipatria 24
Rock Academy 19
Vincent Memorial 31
Army Navy Ac. 14