Tigers turn over game to Redhawks

October 29, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

IMPERIAL — Four turnovers were simply too much for the Imperial High School football team to overcome as the Tigers fell 34-6 to Mountain Empire here Friday.

"The defense played superbly," said Imperial coach Mike Swearingen. "All of their points were scored on our offense."

The Tiger defense did well, limiting the Redhawks to 160 yards of total offense. The strong defensive showing could not offset the turnovers as Imperial struggled to move the ball. The Tiger offense accounted for only 108 yards of offense.

"The offense was non-existent," added Swearingen. "The defense played their hearts out."

The two teams traded possessions to open the game, before the Tigers' first turnover of the game put the Redhawks on the board. Imperial quarterback Ceasar Ramos was intercepted by Tyler Brunet, who returned the pick to the Tiger 10-yard line.

Two plays later Mountain Empire quarterback Erick Helvie hit Patrick Carroll for a 13-yard score. The Redhawks failed on the two-point conversion but led 6-0.


Mountain Empire scored again on its next possession when, following a 12-yard Tiger punt, Andrew Tucker raced in to the endzone from 14 yards out. The two-point conversion failed again and the Redhawks led 12-0.

Imperial answered the Mountain Empire score with its most impressive offensive display of the game. The Tigers went 60 yards in seven plays and scored their lone touchdown of the game when Ramos hit Mark Takara on a 33-yard pass play for six with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Imperial failed in its two-point conversion attempt and trailed 12-6.

Mountain Empire scored again five minutes later. Ramos was intercepted by Helvie, who flew 30 yards for a touchdown. Cory Boyd booted the extra point, expanding the Redhawks' lead to 19-6.

Tucker added a touchdown in the third quarter. Mountain Empire scored a safety and concluded its scoring when Helvie hit Kyle Keeran for a seven-yard touchdown late in the fourth.

Will Hogue led the Tiger rushing attack with 24 yards. Ramos finished with 64 yards passing.

The Tigers fall to 1-7 with the loss and now must prepare to face the Vincent Memorial juggernaut. Swearingen believes that if the right version of the Imperial squad shows up Friday, the Tigers should be able to compete with the Scots.

"It's gonna depend on which football team shows up," he said. "Whether it's the one that beat Calipatria or the one that played tonight. If the team that beat Calipat shows up then we'll be in good shape."

The Tigers will host Vincent at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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