BRAWLEY – The Brawley Union High School varsity football team bounced back after a tough loss last week and rolled past the visiting Calexico High School Bulldogs Friday evening at Warne Field.
After a shaky start allowing one of the longest scoring runs this season of 48 yards, the host Wildcat defense tightened up, shutting down any Calexico thoughts of more game points.
The Wildcat offense tallied 454 yards (unofficially) in total offense and allowed just 174 on defense, most of which were on the first and last drives of the game for the Bulldogs.
When it was all over, Brawley came out victorious 56-7.
The Wildcats took the opening drive, and behind quarterback Ethan Torrez, used 12 plays to open up the scoring. Michael Moreno (17 carries for 185 yards and two touchdowns) crossed the goal line first on the evening with a 17-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-three. After using up most of the first quarter, the clock showed 7-0 with 3:56 left in the first.
The Bulldogs struck back quickly using less than two minutes of the clock. On its third play from scrimmage, a 48-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jorge Villalobos produced the first and only score by Calexico, tying things at 7-7 with 2:26 left in the first quarter.
Brawley returned the favor on an eight-play drive starting at the Wildcat 26-yard line. It rolled over into the second quarter where junior Damien Reyes (nine carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns) had his first of two touchdowns and his best performance of the season. At 11:14 left in the half, the Wildcats regained the lead 14-7 and stayed ahead for the remainder of the game.
Calexico was forced into a three-and-out (punt) and a five-play drive by the Wildcats for its next score. Moreno completed the 62-yard drive with a 10-yard run to increase the lead 22-7 after a successful two-point try with 7:45 left to the break.
The Wildcats’ last score of the first half was a six-play drive of 63-yards after another Calexico punt. Four of the six runs were 13 yards or more and from six yards out. George Mickle scored the first of his two touchdowns on the night. The score was 29-7 for Brawley going into halftime.
The Bulldogs produced one first down in their first possession starting the second half. Then their punt was blocked and recovered by Wildcat Anthony Batt and Brawley took possession at Calexico’s 21-yard line.
Fernando Razo scored on a five-yard run on the third play of the drive and increased the lead to 36-7 with 8:29 left in the third quarter.
The ensuing kickoff was disastrous for Calexico when it was not fielded and an alert Nathan Godinez gave the Wildcats great field position once again. This time at the Bulldog’s 26 yard line, one pass from Torrez to Mickle scored 10 seconds later, but the extra point kick failed. The score improved to 42-7.
The Bulldogs’ next drive lasted three plays before Mickle snatched a pass for an interception and returned to the Calexico 28-yard line. But the gift was not exchanged for points by the Wildcats as they turned the ball over on downs at the Bulldogs’ 22-yard line.
The Wildcats forced a Bulldog punt after four plays where the ‘Cats started at the 34-yard line on the Calexico side of the 50-yard line. Three runs by Razo set up a nine-yard touchdown by Damien Garcia for his second score of the game. The lead became 49-7 with 1:13 left in the third quarter.
The next possession by the Bulldogs merged into the fourth quarter where a running clock was utilized due to the 35 point difference after the third quarter.
Brawley’s Deonte Bell got the rock nine times on a ten-play scoring drive that started at the Wildcat 22-yard line. He put the last points on the board for the Wildcats with a one-yard run. The extra point was good and the scoreboard showed the final score of 56-7 as the last seconds of the clock struck 0:00.
Brawley will host the Imperial Tigers Friday night at Warne field for the last home game of the season. The Tigers come off two straight losses to Central and Southwest of El Centro. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.