Hornets win first game of season

September 08, 2001|By ROBERT FULTON, Special to this newspaper

LA JOLLA — The Calipatria High School football team picked up its first win of the season, an 18-12 thriller here against La Jolla Country Day.

The game was a modified eight-man contest.

The Hornet defense, under the direction of first-year defensive coordinator Jeff Deyo, was the story of the day. Time and again the Hornets stung the Torres' offense at the most opportune times.

"It was defense all the way," said Calipatria head coach Stu Black. "Unbelievable."

The Hornets defense had a number of stars. Brian Williams picked off two passes from Torres' quarterback Patrick Christy. Alex Sanchez got two solo sacks and teamed with Hector Maciel on another. Alex Fairley also dropped Christy for a deep loss.

Most important about the defense was that it stepped up when it most counted.

The pivotal play of the game came with the Hornets holding onto an 18-12 lead late in the fourth quarter. LJCD held the ball at midfield facing a fourth and inches. Christy attempted a sneak but was greeted by a swarm of Hornets and stopped at the line of scrimmage, sealing the Calipatria victory.


The two LJCD scoring strikes only came on big plays. Jerry Trammell broke one loose for 76 yards for the first score and Christy galloped 71 yards for the other touchdown.

The Hornet offense was impressive, raking in over 300 yards while keeping its cool.

"We were up and down the field all day," Black said

The score was 6-2 at half-time in favor of LJCD, the Hornets' two points coming off a bad Torre snap that sailed into the end zone.

The Hornets scored early in the second half on a Zack Taylor run.

LJCD answered with a score in the fourth quarter, but Calipatria didn't flinch, quickly returning the favor with an Alex Fairley touchdown run on its next drive.

With the defense making its stops, that was all the Hornets needed.

"They were there last week," said Black about last week's close loss to Antelope. "It's just that we're young. We're just learning to come together. This was an awesome win today."

In eight-man football, in addition to the fewer players on the field, the field is only 80 yards long.

"The biggest thing you have to do is take out two offensive linemen, which really messes with our game," Black said. "But we basically kept our same offense in and what it does is it forces everything quicker."

The Hornets' record is 1-1 after two tight games to open the season.

"I'm really happy for the win," Black said. "It puts things on the right track. We jelled. We drove it down the filed when we had to."

Next up for Calipatria is Yuma Catholic High School at 7 p.m. Friday.

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