Vikings' Lopez has career game against rival Tigers

September 18, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

When Holtville High School's Frank Lopez heard 45 lead and 28 toss and 29 toss come from his quarterback's mouth, he had a pretty good idea he was about to make something happen.

Those plays were the foundation to a career night the 17-year-old running back had against Imperial High on Friday as he rushed for 215 yards, scored four touchdowns and converted two two-point conversions, accounting for all 28 Holtville points in a 28-14 win over Imperial.

Lopez had a feeling his team would fare well against the Tigers.

"It hit me before the game that maybe I was being overconfident about it. But then I just talked to our (offensive) line and told them that if they blocked for us, we'd get the yards and points for the whole team," said Lopez. "And they went out and just did an excellent job. I knew I'd be able to do well because of the line. They're the reason we won."


What also helped was Lopez's hard running, breaking countless tackles on his way to touchdown runs of 25, 11, 73 and 75 yards.

"I really didn't think I'd do as good as I did, but I'm still happy about it," Lopez said. "I was just so pumped up for that game because it was Imperial. I always play hard, but I was more motivated because it was them. They just brought out the best in me."

The Tigers also brought out the best in Lopez on defense as he finished with 11 tackles, nine solo.

After rushing for 159 yards in his first game, Lopez has 374 yards rushing for the season, just shy of his total for last year of 400 yards.

He now has his sights set on the 1,000-yard plateau. If he continues his pace of 187 yards per game, he will bury the 1,000-yard mark by more than 850 yards.

"That was the best game of my high school career, and I think I'm playing better now than I ever have. But that's still not enough," said Lopez. "It's not just me, though. I think the whole team is playing the best it has in awhile. We still have some things to work on and hopefully we'll be able to keep doing what we've been doing."

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles