Lopez carries Vikings to win

September 16, 2001|By ROBERT FULTON, Special to this newspaper

IMPERIAL — The marching band performed, the cheerleaders cheered, the crowd was excited and everything seemed normal for the Imperial and Holtville high school football showdown Saturday night.

Unfortunately, not all was normal for this game, as thoughts of last week's terrorist attack were in the forefront of everyone's mind.

People wore ribbons, the Tiger marching band played patriotic music during the pre-game show and the U.S. flag rested at half-staff for the contest.

But the show must go on, and these two Valley teams renewed their rivalry, with Holtville drubbing the Tigers 28-14.

"One of the things we have to learn is how to win," said Holtville head coach Jim Sturgeon. "We've never been ahead like that for quite awhile. We have to learn how to control that."


The game belonged to Holtville running back Frank Lopez, who rumbled for four touchdowns on 215 yards rushing.

Lopez's first score came early in the first quarter from 25 yards out. He added a two-point conversion for an 8-0 Holtville lead

Early in the second quarter, Lopez was at it again, this time running in from 11 yards for a 14-0 lead.

The game was stretched later in the quarter when Lopez sprinted 73 yards and added a two-point conversion for a 22-0 advantage.

The Tigers did make a run at Holtville, adding six points with a D.J. Hastings run from eight yards to make the score 22-6 headed into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Tigers looked to be back in the contest after quarterback Ceasar Ramos found Erik Ramirez on a 68-yard pass. Ramos ran in the two-point conversion to pull Imperial to within 22-14.

That was as close as the Tigers would get as Lopez and Holtville put away the game with a 77-yard run and another score for the 28-14 win.

The game showed teams headed in different directions.

Holtville is now 2-0.

"We just can't have that false confidence," Sturgeon said. "We've got to understand that we're more than this."

Imperial has gotten off on the wrong foot at 0-2.

"We have to improve," said Imperial head coach Mike Swearingen. "It's going to be a week-to-week thing.

The Tigers head to Calexico at 7:30 p.m. Friday while Holtville travels to Anza for a game against Hamilton at 7 p.m. Friday.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles