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Windy first win for Warriors
Tanque's Verde's final two timeouts were only postponing the inevitable, and the San Pasqual football team had been waiting five long weeks for it. The cry of "Warriors, Warriors" rang loud and clear through Friday night's wind as freshman quarterback Frankie Casarez took a couple of kneel downs to run out the clock and start the celebration, on homecoming night nonetheless.
San Pasqual rolled up 356 yards of offense and made two defensive stands late in the fourth quarter to earn their first win of the season in a 38-32 victory past the Hawks.
"They're extremely happy," San Pasqual coach Salvador Pineda said. "We've come a long way having these 22 kids who never played before. I was surprised with all the points we scored. It was a battle, a little to close for me."
San Pasqual's (1-4) Michael Rodriguez started the offensive explosion in the opening half, taking the first play from scrimmage 65 yards for a 7-0 lead the Warriors never lost. Rodriguez had two more scores later in the game on runs of 60 and 75 yards.
"He has scored in every game except Valley Union making those types of runs for us, even on kickoffs and punts," Pineda said.
Rodriguez finished with 241 yards on 14 carries, but was one of a number of players that couldn't hold onto the ball at times. Both teams combined for 12 fumbles that led to seven turnovers.
Tanque Verde's Tim Pernu and Clay Mohr made the Warriors pay for one of their three fumbles, connecting on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 7 minutes to play to make it a one-possession game.
But San Pasqual's defense was up to the challenge of holding the Hawks the rest of the way. Dequan Rhymes, Patrick McCoy and Anthony Shepard each came up with tackles for negative yardage during Tanque Verde's final two possessions, and recovered a fourth fumble of the night with 42 seconds remaining as a final statement.
"We had some constant pressure that was being made, and we thought we could have a step ahead of them there," Pineda said.
The stiff wind didn't stop either team from throwing the ball as both teams passed for two scores. Casarez found Victor Robles and Mike Clements for a pair of long touchdowns in the second quarter to help the Warriors build a 32-18 lead at halftime.
"Frankie stood in there and took some big hits," Pineda said of his play-caller, who sat out two plays in the fourth quarter after a defender tackled him from
behind and sandwiched him with the ground. "We need some work on our offensive line, but he persevered."
The Warriors are hoping one more week of persevering will earn them a second win this season in next week's finale against Ajo.
Rob Weiler can be reached at
email@example.com or 539-6883.