IMPERIAL — The Imperial Tigers hosted the Calexico High Bulldogs Friday night, October 11, in a match-up between two teams hungry for their first 2019 IVL victory. In the end, the Tigers clawed their way to a 47-0 victory, earning a 1-1 IVL record on the season and momentum going into next week’s match-up with Central Union High.
The Bulldogs started the night putting the Tigers on the ropes early. Calexico started the first game drive from their own 40-yard line. Behind a strong rushing attack from Chris Gonzalez and smart option play from quarterback Cesar Luna, the Bulldogs drove to the Tiger six-yard line. A penalty pushed the Bulldogs out of the goal line zone with the Bulldogs eventually turning the ball over, falling just two yards short of scoring a touchdown.
Imperial looked as though they were going to have to punt on a quick three-and-out, but Tiger punter Joey Ramos had other ideas, taking the faked punt 92 yards for the first score of the game for the Tigers, giving them a 7-0 lead with 6:25 left to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers forced a quick Bulldog three-and-out, and from there embarked on an eight-play 51-yard drive, capped by a six-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jordan Reed to Jacob Gray late in the first quarter, giving the Tigers a 13-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the onslaught continued as Tiger junior Ryan Bonillas took a punt 42 yards to the end zone making the score 20-0, with 11 minutes left to play in the half.
Tiger receiver Brenten Adams added two touchdown catches to his yearly total, first going forward 67 yards and then a 30-yard strike, four and two minutes, respectively, before the half. The Tigers took a 33-0 lead into the half.
On the very first possession of the second half, it took just 1:13 for the Tigers to find the end zone yet again, going 62 yards in three plays. The drive started with a 37-yard reception from Reed to Bonillas, followed by a 21-yard throw to Ramos. From the four-yard line senior running back Jesus Padilla rushed it into the end zone and gave the Tigers a 40-0 lead with 10:47 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers scored one more time, this time a 47-yard reception from Joaquin Alvarado to Ramos to cap off the night and give the Tigers the 47-0 final score.
Joey Ramos finished with one rush for 92 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Reed completed 12 passed on 18 attempts for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Joaquin Alvarado added four completed passes on five attempts for 75 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers.
“I am proud of our young men," said Imperial Tiger head coach Kerry Legarra. "Next week is another step to accomplishing our goal set at the beginning of the year (winning IVL). If we can't win it out-right, a share is better than nothing, but we have to play our best game of the year if we want to beat Central."
Up next, the Tigers will head to Central Union High’s Cal Jones field take on the Spartans in a match-up with IVL title implications as well playoff match-up implications, as both teams are in CIF San Diego Section Division III. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday October 18.