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INDIO â€“ It was an ending that left the fans leaving the stadium shaking their heads in disbelief at what they had just witnessed.
Brawley Union High senior kicker David Quintero nailed a record-setting 60-yard field goal as time expired to give the Wildcats their first win of the football season in the 24-21 contest over Shadow Hills High.
â€œI got really excited and happy to see my teammates running on the field as soon as they saw that field goal go in,â€ said Quintero on making what quite possibliy was the longest field goal in Brawley football history.
The kick gave Brawley its first lead in this game, the first lead by the Wildcats in a game this season but most importantly, the much needed win in the win column for Brawley as scoreboard showed no time remaining with the score frozen at 24-21.
With the game tied at 21-all in the fourth quarter the Knights took the ball for their final drive that had everyone present on the edge of their seats. It began at their 20-yard line. Using nine plays and getting as close as the Brawley 24-yard line it all appeared to be going Shadow Hills way.
One play in particular had visiting fans witness a wide open receiver after a Wildcat defender had fallen on the play. With the throw going into the wind, the ball fell short and incomplete but the Knights still had one more play. One last pass attempt found Brawleyâ€™s Kevin Kastner, not falling but flying in front of the intended receiver for an interception and return of about 38-yards to the Shadow Hills 42-yard line with :07.2 seconds left in the game.
Time enough for one, possibly two plays.
On Brawleyâ€™s next play quarterback A.J. Grijalva unloaded a deep pass towards the end zone but it sailed out of reach from the heard of players. With less than a second left on the clock, Brawley head coach Jon Self opted to try a field goal where the placement was going to be at midfield.
The snap was perfect, the placement was perfect, the offensive line was perfect and the kick by Quintero was perfect for the game winner.
â€œAs soon as I kicked it I knew it was going to be good,â€ he added. â€œEven before, I had it in my mind, Iâ€™m gonna make it, and I did.â€
This field goal will go in the record books as the longest field goal recorded in CIF-San Diego Section football. The previous records were two 58-yarders in 1995 and 1997. Quintero will sit on top ahead of those two.
It was a mistake filled game for both sides with plenty of penalties and turnovers. The opening kickoff found the Knights beginning at their 20-yard line after a kickoff into the end zone. The second play from scrimmage Brawleyâ€™s George Mickle intercepted a pass and gave the Wildcats great field possession at the Knight 39-yard line. Cutting the field in half, the Wildcats moved the ball to the 20-yard line of Shadow Hills but were not able to capitalize, gave the ball back to the Knights on the 30-yard line.
Shadow Hills moved the ball much better on their second drive both in the air and ground. A big 37-yard pass pushed them into Wildcat territory as the Knights threatened to put the first points on the board. They got as close as the 6-yard line but were unable to score and turned the ball over on downs, where the Wildcats began at the 8-yard line.
This second drive for the Wildcats found them running five times and two penalties by the Knights had Brawley at their 40-yard line.
Another turnover, this time by the Wildcats, gave the Knights possession on the Brawley 45-yard line where the Knights hit the end zone with a big 18-yard run by Jared Gipson. Shadow Hills led 7-0 with 11:53 left in the half.
Both teams exchanged possessions with the Knights having better production as they moved the ball much better against the Wildcat defense.
The halftime stats showed Shadow Hills with 254-yards total offense to the Wildcats 125 yards.
Brawley tied the game with a drive beginning at their 35-yard line with 6:49 in the second quarter. It was a six play drive that featured a big passing play from Grijalva to Kastner of 38 yards.
Once in Knight territory, Wildcat running back Nathan Suits scored on an eight-yard touchdown run. It was tied at 7-7 at the 4:21 mark.
The Knights didnâ€™t waste time to take the lead scoring less than four minutes later with an eight-play drive that went for 73 yards. A seven-yard run by sophomore quarterback Jason Lang put the Knights ahead 14-7 at the midpoint.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff of the second half.
Brawley knotted the score at 14-14, using 10 running plays to move 74 yards. The offensive line had found its groove and the score was tied on a one-yard plunge by Austyn Gutierrez at the 7:59 point of the third quarter.
The remainder of the quarter found both defenses tightening up. Both teams exchanged possessions twice each, but a great play from the Knight defense gave Shadow Hills the ball on the Wildcat 13-yard line.
The gift was exchanged for the lead on four plays that merged into the fourth quarter.
It was now 21-14 Shadow Hills leading with 10:52 left in the game.
The Wildcats didnâ€™t panic as their next drive exhausted almost seven minutes of the final stanza. It took 15 plays that began at the Brawley 30-yard line. The 70-yard drive was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run by Suits.
There was 4:11 left in the game and the score was deadlocked at 21-21 before the Wildcats finished the comeback win.
Brawley is now 1-2 and this could be a season changer for the Wildcats.
It was a great Friday Night Lights evening and now the Wildcats will travel twice to Yuma.
Be sure to watch for â€œAfter Further Reviewâ€ on The Desert Reviewâ€™s online news website for a more on this game and Brawleyâ€™s next one at Cibola.