Holtville pounds Palo Verde 24-9

October 06, 2001|By JON HINSHAW, Sports Writer

HOLTVILLE — Fifty-three running plays, one passing play.

Palo Verde High School knew what Holtville was going to do and it still couldn't stop the Vikings' offensive line and dynamic running duo of Jared Brady and Frank Lopez.

Brady and Lopez combined for more than 200 yards rushing and three scores to lift the Vikings to a 4-1 record with a 24-9 victory over the Yellowjackets here Friday.

"Our offensive line is doing a great job," said Brady, who finished with 92 yards on the ground. "We knew coming into the season they were going to do a good job."


Added Lopez: "They've really stepped it up. Everybody on offense has been doing a great job."

Lopez, who carried for 134 yards on 26 carries, scored Holtville's first two touchdowns to help his squad jump to a 16-0 lead early in the second quarter. Brady and Hawk followed with two-point conversion runs to stake the Vikings to a lead they would never relinquish.

While the Holtville offense pounded at Palo Verde's defense, the Vikings' ‘D' was keeping the Yellowjackets far from pay dirt.

Holtville, led by Jon Burnworth's six tackles and two sacks, made life tough for Palo Verde quarterback Michael Carney and his offense. On four of the Yellowjackets' five first-half possessions, the Vikings allowed just one first down while Palo Verde never got the ball past its own 35-yard line.

"Offensively we've been making some mistakes," said Yellowjacket coach George Dagnino, whose squad is 1-4. "We really needed to execute a little more to get the ball moving."

Palo Verde did convert a touchdown with 4:40 remaining in the first half on a 12-play, 65-yard drive. Carney threw for 38 yards and running back Aaron Miller rushed for 27 of his team-high 103 yards during the drive, capped by a 14-yard Miller touchdown for a 16-6 deficit.

The Yellowjackets would see the Vikings' half of the field just once more in the game.

"We didn't handle them too well in the first half on that drive," said Holtville coach Jim Sturgeon, "but we stepped it up in the second half."

The Vikings bent but didn't break to open the second half as they gave up a field goal. Michael Heflin booted the 28-yarder to bring his squad to within 16-9, but Holtville took control from there.

The Vikings' offense countered immediately to push ahead 24-9 with a 65-yard drive, highlighted by 36 yards from Lopez and 29 from Brady. Brady finished the drive with an 11-yard scamper into the end zone as Lopez watched from the sidelines with an injury. Lopez re-entered on the conversion try and followed Brady's footsteps by tacking on two of his own with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter.

"Jared and I have been running really well," said Lopez. "We just take turns running the ball and it really screws up the defense. He scores and I get the two-point conversion and if I score, then he gets the two. We're working well together."

Added Sturgeon: "We're really coming off the ball well. Tonight worked out really well and it was great to see after coming off a tough week last week."

The squads exchanged the ball six times in the final 15 minutes, spanning the third and fourth quarters, as Palo Verde tried desperately to score and Holtville worked the clock. The Vikings allowed the Yellowjackets to get no farther than their own 39-yard line and Chase Iten added an interception into the mix midway through the fourth period to seal the contest for Holtville.

Central Union (0-5) will be the Vikings' next opponent at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cal Jones Field in El Centro.

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