EL CENTRO – A beautiful fall evening took the Brawley Wildcats intoÂ Southwest High SchoolÂ to face the Eagles on Homecoming Night. The Wildcats took advantage of time of possession, field advantage and score on most of their drives to increase its season record to 7-2 with Fridayâ€™s victory 42-7.
The Wildcats took advantage of a costly turnover by the Eagles on their third play from scrimmage. Andrew Ortiz recovered a Southwest fumble at the Eagle 37 yard line and Brawley utilized a seven play drive and less than three minutes to take its first lead.
Four runs on the drive found Isaac Comparan scoring on a 3 yard run with 7:42 left in the first quarter. A perfect night of point afters by Remington Campbell and the Wildcats lead was 7-0
The Eagles fared better on their second drive. Twelve plays into it,Â the Eagles found themselves punting again and gave Brawley the ball on a poor punt to the Wildcat 42 yard line.
The Eagles defense showed Brawley it wouldnâ€™t be a pushover on this night. They forced the Wildcats to punt and although they were pinned back to their own half yard line, they put together 10 plays to even up the match at 7-7.
Into the second quarter, the Eagles moved the football into Brawley territory. With 9:09 left in the half, a long pass that bounced off two defenders, nearly intercepted, but the third bounce found itself into the waiting hands of wide receiver Esteban Urias for a Southwest touchdown. The point after would have this game tied at 7 with 9:09 left in the half.
Friday nightâ€™s game found the Brawley offense the most balanced of the year. Gaining 205 yards on 39 rushes and 143 yards on 7 receptions, this Eagle defense was the first opponent of Brawley that had held all Wildcat rusherâ€™s to less than 100 yards. Brawley was able to move the first down chains more often on short runs then hit on big plays with TD passes by both Isaac Comparan and Ross Rubio. An interception by Remington Campbell at the Brawley 37 yard line fired up the slow starting Wildcat offense. A TD pass to Donavin Buck 7 seconds later found them ahead 14-7 at the 5:42 mark until halftime.
One more score before the half came atÂ 0:06 on an Andrew Ortiz plunge of one yard. Although the scoreboard showed a 21-7 lead at half for the Wildcats, it was obvious that this game was just a speed bump in the minds of many as a possible upset was lurking at the across town game of Central v Imperial.
After the Homecoming ceremony, the second half began.
The first drive didnâ€™t take even two minutes for the first score by the Wildcats. Isaac Comparan threw a TD pass to Donavin Buck from 26 yards out to extend the lead to 28-7.
For the remainder of the game, the Wildcat defense would force Southwest to punt two more times. After both those punts Brawley scored TDâ€™s by Isaac Comparan (his second) and the final TD of the game by Nico Aguirre at the 7:54 point of the fourth quarter. A running clock was activated at this point (42-7).
Brawleyâ€™s offense was held to just over 205 yards rushing and no runner hit the century mark in total yards. The only player who reached 100+ yards on the evening was Donavin Buck in reception yards (102 on four completions). The Brawley defense limited the Eagles to only 40 yards on 21 total rushes. The Eagles did soar in the air as junior QB Edward Romero went 18-30 for 183 yards with one TD and one interception.
Next week at Central High, the Spartans will try and break a Bell Game losing streak that has been active since 2009. The Spartans won 23-18 at Cal Jones Stadium that year. The game will give the winner a second place finish and a possibility of a home game in the first round of the playoffs, although it isnâ€™t a guarantee.
It is one of the longest current rivalries in the nation that extends even before it was called the Bell Game. Make sure you get your presale tickets early. They will be on sale at each school beginning Monday.