Bulldogs hope for another upset

October 25, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Last year when the Calexico High football team defeated Brawley Union High, it was considered one of the biggest upsets of the year.

That win demonstrated that on any given Friday, one football team could beat another, no matter how heavily favored a team is.

The two teams will meet again Friday in Brawley in an Imperial Valley League showdown that has serious championship implications involved.

Should Calexico (1-0 IVL) win, it would remove the biggest obstacle in its road to the title in the defending champion.


With a win, the only team in Brawley's way would be Central Union High, which it beat by 50 points earlier this year.

But right now, the only two teams that matter are each other.

"We all know this is a big game. And everyone knows that they beat us last year. But we put that behind us," said Wildcat running back Andy Buckner. "If people are still thinking about it, they're just using that loss as motivation."

Entering the game Buckner and his teammates boast one of the most potent offenses in the Valley. Against Palo Verde last week, Brawley (2-0 IVL) racked up 62 points and 594 yards of total offense, including 546 on the ground.

Buckner finished the game with 211 yards rushing with three touchdowns and teammate Bobby Myers totaled 236 yards on the ground with four scores.

Knowing his defense will have its hands full with the Wildcat offense, Calexico coach Richard Gonzalez realizes what must be done to contend with Brawley.

"We have to play solid on defense. We know that Brawley always has outstanding backs and that's the case again this year," said Gonzalez. "They had a really good running back in Kiddo Moreno last year and I think Buckner is better than Kiddo."

"When it comes down to it, we just have to play a perfect game to beat them. We can't make any mistakes and can't have any turnovers. We just have to play an error-free game."

While the Wildcats offense was impressive against Palo Verde, the Bulldogs weren't too shabby in their win on Friday, a 54-26 thumping of Holtville.

The Bulldogs finished the game with 452 yards and mixed things up offensively by rushing for 200 yards and throwing for 252. The damage could have been worse, but Calexico had five touchdowns called back due to penalties.

Leading the Calexico offense was quarterback Odin Ayala, who threw two touchdowns.

"This is a really big game for us because it is a league game and it is Brawley," said Ayala. "We wanted to have a big game against Holtville to give us some momentum for Brawley."

Said Brawley coach John Bishop: "We've seen film on Calexico and they look very good on tape. They have their kids disciplined and they're playing together.

"I just hope this year we show up to play."

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