BY JUSTIN GARIBAY
The Brawley Union High Wildcats kicked off their season last Friday night with a tough loss to Spring Valley’s Steele Canyon Cougars. The game was close and hard fought, but the Wildcats came up short and fell 24-20.
Brawley was unable to get anything going early. Steele Canyon struck first late in the first quarter and once again halfway through the second quarter and quickly found their way up 14-0.
Immediately after being down 14, the Wildcats were able to put a strong drive together capped off by a great touchdown pass from junior Casey Kline to senior Branden Gutierrez, right before the half, narrowing the score 147.
The Wildcats received the kick after halftime and began to march down the field. Their first drive was sparked by nice blocking from the Wildcats offensive line and phenomenal efforts from Casey Kline which led to a 5 yard rushing touchdown by junior Michael Moreno.
With momentum on their side, the Wildcats were able to tie the game at 14, with just under 8 minutes left in the third quarter.
Both offenses traded possessions until Steele Canyon was able to get back on the board to take the lead 21-14.
On their following possession, the Cougars added a field goal with just under six minutes to go in the game. Increasing their lead 24-14.
Brawley wasn’t able to tie the score, so in the next possession the Cougars were able to add a field goal with just under six minutes to go in the game, increasing their lead 24-14.
All hope seemed lost, but Casey Kline, once again, got his team down the field and delivered another 27 yard touchdown pass to Branden Gutierrez. However extra point was blocked leaving the score 24-20.
With just a few minutes remaining in regulation, the Wildcats had no choice but to try for an onside kick that they failed to recover.
The Brawley defense would come up with a huge turnover on
a forced fumble, which was recovered by junior Nate Godinez with around a minute remaining.
With their final gasp, the Wildcats were unable to get a drive going as their possession ended with an interception by the Cougars, ending the game in a 2420 loss.
Although the game resulted in defeat, the Wildcats had many bright spots.
Junior Casey Kline was all over the field, playing both sides
of the ball and rarely missing a play. Kline received “the rock” which was well deserved.
Senior Branden Gutierrez and junior Michael Moreno also shined combing for three total touchdowns.
The Wildcats did not lay on their backs and put up a dogfight against a good Steele Canyon team. The Brawley Wildcats look to rebound next week as they travel to Yuma to face the Criminals.