Bulldogs unleash offense on Holtville

October 21, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

CALEXICO — The Calexico High School football team took two approaches to attacking the Holtville High defense Friday night.

Luckily for the Bulldogs, both strategies worked nearly to perfection as Calexico beat the Vikings by air in the first half and by ground in the second in a 54-26 non-league win.

"Our whole goal is to have a balanced offense," said Bulldog head coach Richard Gonzalez. "Little by little our quarterback has been developing. Tonight we wanted to throw the ball and see what he could do."

Calexico's quarterback, Olin Ayala, lit up the Holtville secondary in the first half, throwing for 183 yards and one score.

It was not until the Bulldogs unleashed their ground assault, however, that they began to pull away from the Vikings.

Calexico held a 24-14 lead at the break before loosing Vicente Vasquez. Vasquez, who had no carries in the first half, ran for 114 yards on 10 carries in the second half and scored three touchdowns.


"This was a team effort," said Vasquez. "It was not one individual. The offensive line did a good job of opening up holes and I just used the holes."

The Bulldog offensive explosion, which netted 432 yards of total offense, overshadowed a fine effort by Holtville's two running backs.

The Viking tandem of Jared Brady and Frank Lopez combined for 232 yards and three touchdowns, with each player breaking the 100-yard mark.

"Jared had an excellent game," said Lopez. "I think I did all right. The offense played well."

Calexico struck early and often. The Bulldogs scored on their first possession, marching from their own 33-yard line to the end zone in just under five minutes. The drive was capped by a six-yard touchdown run by Aaron Barrios. Barrios took in the two-point conversion, putting Calexico up 8-0.

The Vikings fumbled the ensuing kickoff, one of four Holtville turnovers, and Calexico recovered at the Viking 26.

Three plays later Barrios rumbled in for an apparent score from 12 yards. The score was called back on a Calexico hold and on the next play Ayala hit Vasquez for what looked to be a 20-yard score. Yet again the play was called back because of a Calexico penalty. The two penalties were the start of a night that saw the Bulldogs flagged 16 times for 216 yards.

"We've talked to the team about cutting down on the penalties," said Gonzalez. "We're going in to the heart of league play. We can't be successful if we continue to make this many mistakes."

Fortunately for Calexico it was successful on the drive despite the yellow flags. After the second penalty, Ayala threw three straight incompletions, but on fourth down he connected with Chris Ramsey for a 27-yard score. Vasquez ran in the two-point conversion and Calexico led 16-0.

The second Bulldog score woke up the Viking offense as Holtville scored the next two times it had the ball.

Lopez set himself up for a four-yard score with a 40-yard run with six minutes left in the first half. Brady blasted through the line for a 37-yard score for Holtville's second touchdown of the day. The Vikings were successful on one of the two two-point conversions they tried and trailed 16-14 with two minutes left in the first quarter.

"We just told everybody to step it up," said Lopez. "Overall I think the offense did pretty good."

Calexico got on the board one more time before the half. Barrios rumbled in from 20 yards to cap a 69-yard drive. Ayala hit Raul Ochoa for the two-point conversion and the Bulldogs took a 24-14 lead in at the break.

Vasquez spearheaded the Calexico onslaught in the second half. He scored on runs of four and 21 yards as the Bulldogs took a 40-14 lead after three quarters.

Holtville got on the board early in the fourth when Lopez finished a 68-yard drive with a five-yard scamper. The Vikings missed the two-point conversion and trailed 40-20.

Vasquez answered the Holtville score with one of his own, a three-yard run set up by a 30-yard pass from Ayala to John Paul Gonzalez. Eric Vargas booted the extra point and Calexico led 47-20.

"We were just running the ball all night long," said Vasquez.

The Vikings added their final score late in the game. Lopez hit Eric Cueto on a 32-yard pass. As Cueto was being tackled he flipped the ball to teammate Jon Singh, who flew 30 yards for the score. Holtville missed the two-point conversion and trailed 47-26.

The Bulldogs concluded their scoring when Ayala hit Ramsey from 28 yards with two minutes to play. Vargas knocked in the extra point and the Calexico offensive machine finally shut down.

Both teams must turn their attention to tough league match-ups. The Bulldogs (4-2) will travel to Brawley while Holtville (4-3) returns to Ward Field in Calexico to play Vincent Memorial.

While the contests will not be easy for either side, both the Bulldogs and the Vikings think the game prepared them for next Friday's game.

"Our offense has been improving week by week," said Gonzalez. "We know Brawley can put up points quickly, but we've been working on fine-tuning our offense. We just want to use the games before (Brawley) to get more continuity on offense."

Said Lopez of next week's tilt with Vincent, "This is gonna help us a lot. Vincent likes to throw a lot too. It's gonna be a tough week (at practice) but everybody's beatable. This will be one of the most important games against one of the best teams in the Valley. I think we should be able to do well."

Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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