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Red Dogs are big dogs of IVFF league

April 21, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

Less than 30 seconds remained Saturday when Sergio Osuna gunned a 17-yard pass to a wide open Chendo Ortiz in the end zone.

That touchdown secured the Imperial Valley Flag Football League championship for the A&R Construction's Red Dog team, which beat JD Glass & Construction's Outlaws 20-19 at Swarthout Park in El Centro.

"Patience, a lot of patience," Osuna said after the game, explaining how Red Dog was able to move the ball 60 yards in less than two minutes to post the winning score.


"I have a lot of confidence in our guys," he added.

Ortiz was wide open in the end zone when he hauled in the winning pass. No Outlaw was within five yards of him.

"We kind of set (the Outlaws) up there at the end," Osuna said.

Osuna noted Ortiz is one of Red Dog's fastest receivers.

"They usually double-teamed him so I didn't throw much to him," Osuna added.

Still, late in the game with the league championship on the line, Osuna opted for Ortiz.

"We hadn't used that play all game," Osuna said of the pass.

The quarterback ended up completing 17 of 27 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

Outlaws quarterback Danny Alarcon completed 13 of 22 aerials for 139 yards and two scores. He also nearly rallied his team to victory.

Following Red Dog's go-ahead touchdown, the Outlaws took over at their own 10-yard line following a personal foul penalty on Red Dog's failed conversion attempt.

An Outlaw rusher viciously leveled Osuna and was tossed from the game. A penalty also was assessed.

After an incomplete pass from the 10, Alarcon hit Richard Gaines for a 17-yard gain.

Alarcon's next pass into the end zone fell incomplete, leaving him one last play.

Alarcon again went for the end zone and Basard Reed leaped high, momentarily got his hands on the ball before dropping the pass to end the game.

With the win the Red Dog earned some redemption. In the regular season the Outlaws won the showdown between the top two teams 19-18 in overtime.

In their rematch the Red Dog took the game's opening possession in for a score. Osuna capped the eight-play 60-yard drive with a three-yard scoring toss to Richard Olague.

The key play was a 20-yard pass to Fernando Osuna on third down, after Fernando Osuna had slipped to the ground.

Sergio Osuna then found Olague again for the 10-yard two-point conversion.

The Outlaws answered with a touchdown on their opening possession. Alarcon moved his team 60 yards in eight plays, capped by a 20-yard scoring toss to Dave Salgado.

Key play on the drive was a 19-yard fourth-down pass to Reed, who made a spectacular aerial leap to haul in the ball.

Alarcon then hit Andrew Lewis from three yards out for the one-point conversion leaving the Outlaws trailing 7-6.

The Outlaws got the ball back two plays later when Richard Henry picked off a Sergio Osuna pass. Dave McKenzie blocked Osuna's pass and Henry came up with the interception.

Henry ran the ball back for a touchdown, but it was nullified because of a referee's inadvertent whistle, which blew the play dead at the spot of the turnover.

The Outlaws took over at the Red Dog 21 and five plays later Alarcon found Gaines in the end zone for the score. The one-point conversion failed, leaving the Outlaws with a 13-8 lead at halftime.

After holding the Outlaws at the start of the second half, the Red Dog took over following a punt at its own 26. Sergio Osuna guided his team in for a score, capping the six-play drive with an 18-yard pass to Gil Veena. The one-point conversion pass failed, giving the Red Dog a 14-13 lead.

The Outlaws regained the lead on their next possession moving 60 yards in six plays. The drive was capped by Alarcon's 10-yard pass to Andre Lewis.

The key play on the drive was Alarcon's 13-yard scamper up the right side to set up the touchdown pass.

The two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the Outlaws with a 19-14 lead with just two minutes remaining.

That was enough time for the Red Dog to retake the lead with the winning drive

Ortiz caught four passes for 69 yards for the Red Dog. All but one came on the last two drives.

Gerardo Castillo caught four passes for the Red Dog for 50 yards and Veena caught three for 49 yards.

Gaines caught three passes for 40 yards for the Outlaws and Lewis had three receptions for 33 yards.

Saturday's game was especially spirited with a lot of trash-talking by both sides as well as spectators. There also was a lot of hard hitting, including a couple of shots to the faces of players.

The title game capped an 11-week season that featured 10 teams. The league consists of teams from El Centro, Holtville, Imperial and Calexico. Average age of the players is 25-30.

The league raises money for the Cal Jones Scholarship. In its nine years of existence the league has given out more than $12,000 in scholarships to high school seniors.

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