CALEXICO - The Calexico Bulldogs hosted the Imperial Tigers Friday night in week two of Imperial Valley League play. Both teams were looking to rebound from week one IVL losses, as Calexico fell 41-12 to Central High, and the Tigers dropped a close one to Brawley High 20-19.
The Tigers stayed in control early and often, utilizing an explosive first quarter and then riding the wave defensively the rest of the way, as Santiago De La Torre threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another, and Nathan Hart added two scores on the ground en route to the Tigers' 42-0 victory.
In the first quarter, the Bulldogs looked to threaten offensively as a couple of Luis Meza reads and rushes gave the Bulldogs an early first down. From there though, the Tigers' defense forced a turnover in downs and Imperial's offensive assault began.
On the first play of their offensive possession, De La Torre hit Joey Ramos for a 19-yard gain. Three plays later, and De La Torre found Tanner Travis for a 39-yard touchdown pass. Ella McDonald provided kicking duties for the night, and the Tigers were up 7-0 with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter.
On Calexico’s next possession, the Bulldogs again found success early with a first down, but could not sustain it as they were forced to punt in their next set of downs.
The Tigers received the ball in good field position at the Calexico 49-yard line, and Nathan Hart exploded for 45 yards on their first snap. Two plays later, Hart was in the end zone to cap the drive, and added the two point conversion as well. The Tigers were up 15-0 with 3:24 left in the first quarter.
After holding the Bulldogs to a three and out, the Tigers needed only four plays to add another score as two pass plays, a 31-yard strike to Preston Roben, and a 13-yard throw to Joey Ramos, put the Tigers deep in Bulldog territory.
From the 29-yard line, De La Torre kept the ball and went for a 29-yard touchdown rush giving the Tigers a 22-0 lead with 1:03 to play in the first.
The score held until the half, and in the third quarter, De La Torre added one more touchdown pass, this one an 11-yarder to Joey Ramos to put the score at 29-0, and his day on offense was done.
Getting some reps in at quarterback was sophomore Joaquin Alvarado who took the opportunity to lead the Tigers on two scoring drives late in the game.
The first was a five play, 72-yard drive that saw Joey Ramos take a pitch for 62 yards that was capped by a Nathan Hart touchdown rush from the one-yard line, his second of the night - making the score 36-0.
The last score came off of a Bulldog miscue on a punt return after the ball touched a Bulldog player after being punted away by the Tigers. Sophomore Brennan Adams recovered the loose ball, coming up with his second takeaway of the night, the first being an interception in the third quarter on a Bulldog possession deep in Tigers’ territory.
From the Bulldog 21-yard line, it took the Tigers only two plays, a 14-yard rush by Ryan Bonillas, and a seven-yard touchdown rush by Jonas Leon, to bring the score to its 42-0 final.
Up next for the Tigers will be a matchup with IVL Title implications, as they will host the Central Spartans next Friday. Central comes into the matchup unbeaten on the season (7-0, 2-0 IVL).
The Bulldogs will look to regroup as they go on the road and take on the Palo Verde Valley Yellowjackets next Friday, as well.