10/30/2012 5:00:00 PM Late Bulldog touchdown sinks Jackets
Randy Peterson Palo Verde Valley Times
BLYTHE - The Palo Verde High School Yellow Jacket football team played perhaps their best overall game of the season Friday night, but in the end the Calexico Bulldogs scored the final touchdown of the night to claim a 21-14 win at Scott Stadium.
"As a coaching staff we were pleased with the effort," said Jacket football coach, George Dagnino. "The kids fought hard to the end - that was a pleasant surprise."
Calexico took a 14-0 lead to the intermission on the strength of a pair of touchdown passes from Bulldog quarterback Diego Moreno to Aldo Muñoz. The first came midway through the opening quarter on a 31-yard play and the second with less than a minute to play in the second period when the two hooked up on an 81-yard catch and run play.
Between those two plays, the only other threat by the Bulldogs ended with KJ Bryant blocking a Bulldog field goal attempt on the Bulldogs' first possession of the second period.
For the most part, the Jacket defense shut down the Bulldog running attack as they allowed only two plays of more than nine yards in the contest.
"We defended the run well," Dagnino said. "It would have been a different story if we had done as well against their passing."
The Jacket offense got on the board in the third quarter when Andres Cardenas scored on a four-yard run to complete an 11-play drive that covered 55 yards.
Jacket quarterback Ryan Galvan connected on six of eight passes in the drive, the longest coming on a 20-yard hook-up with Richard Henderson.
Vederi Atiyota had set up the Jacket possession with a sack and forced a fumble recovered by Nick George that ended the first Calexico possession of the second half.
Another fumble recovery, this one by Alberto Louriero that was forced by Rafael Adame, got the Palo Verde offense the ball back with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.
Palo Verde then executed probably their best drive of the season as they covered the 92 yards in 14 plays to even the score at 14-14 with 3:29 to play in the contest.
Cardenas rushed for 52 yards on the march including runs of 20, 14, and 10 yards, while Galvan was good on five of six passing plays including the touchdown toss of seven yards to Treshaun Edmond.
The Bulldogs took less than two minutes of game clock to respond with the winning drive. Helped along by 35 yards of Jacket penalties, the guests took the lead for good with just over two minutes to play when the Moreno to Muñoz combination struck again, this one from 21 yards out, ending the game's scoring.
"That was the difference in the ball game," Dagnino said. "We gave up three big pass plays and didn't have any of our own."
The Jackets lost Atiyota on Calexico's late fourth-period drive when the senior defensive end broke an arm making a tackle. Atiyota finished the night with four solo stops including a pair of sacks, an assist, and the forced fumble.
Safety Roy Reid led the defensive effort with eight tackles, including seven solos along with a pass deflection, while Louriero had six tackles and the fumble recovery.
George had five solo stops, a recovered fumble, and a pass deflection while Leonardo DeLeon had five solos including a sack as well as another assist. Marjerle Salazar contributed four tackles, including a sack, while Ivan Aguayo was good for four solo stops as well.
Offensively, Galvan finished the night with 23 completions on 44 attempts for 221 yards and a touchdown while suffering three interceptions.
Seven different Jackets caught passes in the contest led by Edmond's seven grabs for 67 yards and a TD. Destin Cross had six receptions for 63 yards while Chris Navarro was good for 33 yards on his four catches and Henderson gained 31 yards on his two receptions. Reid, Bryant and Cody Holladay each had one catch on the night.
Cardenas finished with 60 yards rushing on 12 carries, most of that in the second half while Bryant netted 21 yards on six attempts.
Palo Verde will wrap up their season on Friday when Imperial will come to town for the Jacket Homecoming game.