Indio High School was hit by a swarm from Brawley. No, it wasn’t the ground trembling Â earthquakes that have had Brawley residents on edge this past week. It was the swarm of offensive linemen paving the way for a team that is on mission this fall in quest of an IVL title, a BELL Game Victory and success in CIF playoffs.
Those linemen include Steven Saldana, Miguel Moreno, Isaiah Quiroz, Christian Gonzalez, Martin Garza, and Remington Campbell. When these two teams meet; it is usually the season opener for the Rajahs while the Wildcats entered the contest with a game under its belt. The tables were turned Friday night as the Rajah’s opened up their season with 61-0 loss at West Side High in Hemet last week. Brawley did scrimmage at Horizon last week, but Friday night was the first official game of the season for the Wildcats.
The first Brawley tremor was an 8-play drive that began at its own 28 yard-line, courtesy of the first kickoff return by Zach Krigbaum. In the drive, the Richter scale had registered five runs of 44 yards and one catch of 7 yards by Jared Mohammed. Josh Godinez added a run of 21 yards and a completed pass. Isaak Comparan had a 10 yard run to the Indio five yard line. The first score of the season would be a 5 yard run by Mohammed. PAT was not good and the Wildcats led 6-0 early in the first quarter.
A Brawley defense that would prevent the Rajahs from scoring until the final 07 seconds of the game would force a three and out on Indioâ€™s first drive. Brawley would begin their second drive at the 29 yard line after a punt and a Brawley penalty.
The next drive for Brawley resembled those earthquakes you hear but never feel the shaking. The Wildcats again had big plays from Comparan, a run and a pass, each for 20 yards. Moving the rock with authority Jared had another 15 yards on three runs.
Brawley moved into the red zone down to the 6 yard line and had an apparent score called back on a penalty that moved them back to the Indio 17 yard line. Two plays later they turned over the ball on downs and Indio would begin their next drive.
Indio gained a little momentum with a first down to their 28 yard line but once again the Defense would not allow them to gain any more yards. Three straight loss of yards plays ended the quarter with Indioâ€™s QB being sacked, forcing them to punt to begin the second.
Brawley received the ball at the Indio 42 and hit pay dirt in three plays with Zach Krigbaum finding the end zone on a 23 yard run practically untouched. This time the PAT was good and Wildcats led 13-0 early in the second quarter.
On Indioâ€™s next drive they would begin at their own 26. A stingy defense again prevailed and on one play in particular, Donovan Buck put a hard hit on a Rajah player for a one yard loss.
Unfortunately, on a fourth down Indio would be given a gift of a first down on an encroachment penalty. The Rajahâ€™s moved the ball, the furthest in the game to that point, to their own 42 yard line and then, once again, turned over the ball on downs.
More quick tremors hit and it only took a run of 17 yards by Mohammed and a final 20 yard run for Zack Krigbaum who scored his second TD of the game. PAT was not converted and it was 19-0.
Indio was aided with their best field position for their drive by an out-of-bounds kickoff and they started on their own 35 yard line. Their biggest gain was a Brawley five yard penalty mixed in with two loss-of-yardage plays and an incomplete pass. They punted out of bounds to the Brawley 38.
The final scoring of the first half was to follow as the Wildcatsâ€™ Josh Godinez completed two of three passes. The big play was a 51 yard strike for Donovan Buckâ€™s first TD of the season. The PAT was again good and it was now 26-0.
Indio would finally cross midfield on the next drive as they began at their own 33 yard line. They would have more success later with passes, but drive would get them to the Wildcats 34 yard line. The half ended with a defensive exclamation point of a QB sack of 11 yards.
Beginning the second half, the Rajahs started at their own 45 yard line. They moved the ball with short gains, but after succeeding on one fourth-down play, the defense would not allow two-fourth down plays on the same drive. Brawley took over on downs at their 41.
Indioâ€™s defense started to mirror the Wildcat defense as they were bending but not breaking. They allowed one big play by Josh Godinez. It was a long run to the opposing 35 yard line. But it was Indio, forcing a punt by Brawley that pinned them deep at their own 4 yard line.
As Indio once looked to be stopped after short gains and ending the third quarter, the Rajahs then had a 16 play drive and reached the Brawley 38 yard line. An incomplete pass on fourth down stopped any threat of breaking the impending shut out.
Brawley had a rare three and out, but on a fourth down punt, Indio return man was leveled by Jared Mohammed that forced a muffed punt. On the play Brawley recovered and returned it for ground closer to the end zone, but a muffed punt cannot be advanced by the kicking team, only recovered. This gave the ball to the Wildcats on the 18 and Brawley would have their final TD of the evening. The one play drive was a TD run by Jared Mohammed as he reaped the rewards he had caused on the punt. The PAT was good and at 4:33 left in the game it was 33-0
Indioâ€™s lone score came on a long drive of 15 plays that began where most of that nightâ€™s drives had all stopped- deep on their side at the 20. Two big plays both a 21 yard pass and a TD run with the clock showing 07 seconds left in the game. The PAT was good 33-7.
Brawley recovered an onside attempt at midfield on the kickoff and then went into Victory Formation for the last play of the game.
The Wildcats, now (1-0), will travel to Hoover High School next Friday and try to avenge last year’s 41-28 loss at home. The Wildcats had a quick 14-0 lead in that game but the Cardinals prevailed for its victory. The Varsity will follow the Junior Varsity game which will be played on the same evening. Scheduled time for JV game is 4:00 p.m., Varsity is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Please drive safely. â€œTHANK YOUâ€ for your support.