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Brawley Union High senior Isaiah Young scores a touchdown for the Wildcats against Central as they beat the Spartans 34-21 in the annual Bell Game at Cal Jones Field in El Centro on Friday, Oct. 29. | MARIO RENTERIA PHOTO

FOOTBALL: Young Leads Wildcats to Bell Game Win

Brawley Union Earns Imperial Valley League Title By Beating Rival Central Spartans

EL CENTRO — Brawley Union High School senior running back Isaiah Young scored four touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to a 34-21 Bell Game win over Central Union High, securing the Imperial Valley League title for Brawley here on Friday, Oct. 29.

The victory snapped a four-year losing streak for the Wildcats in the annual Bell Game and a four-year drought without winning an IVL title.

“I was expecting to do anything I had to do to get the win” Young said of his four-touchdown performance. “I’m proud of our team and everybody.”

With the win, the Wildcats finish the regular season 8-2 overall and 4-0 in IVL. They turn their focus to the CIF-San Diego Section Division III playoffs where they were ranked sixth going into Friday’s game. The league championship assures Brawley of a spot in the playoffs.

The Spartans finished 5-5 overall and 3-1 in league and entered the contest ranked 10th in Division II. Playoff matchups will be announced on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Brawley Union High junior quarterback Ethan Gutierrez (13) tries to elude Central Union High junior Rodolfo Lizaola during the annual Bell Game at Cal Jones Field in El Centro on Friday, Oct. 29. | MARIO RENTERIA PHOTO

“It’s a Bell Game classic,” said Jon Self, Brawley’s head coach. “Two teams that are fighting for the league championship, the Bell … just another great (game) to put down in the books.”

In Friday’s game, Young opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run with 8:05 left in the first quarter. Senior kicker George Haro kicked the extra point and the Wildcats took a 7-0 lead.

The ball changed hands after a pair of turnovers, a fumble recovery by Brawley senior nose guard Anthony Arriaga and an interception by Central senior defensive back Joel Gonzales-Valdez, respectively.

That set up a 38-yard pass from Central junior quarterback Damian Rodriguez to freshman receiver Sergio Garcia to Brawley’s four-yard-line. Junior running back Charlie Sullivan finished the drive with a four-yard run. Junior kicker Mylas Rodriguez added the point-after and the score was tied 7-7 with 11:55 left in the second quarter.

The Wildcats had another pair of turnovers against them, an interception and fumble. Central capitalized on one of them when Garcia caught a 4-yard pass for a touchdown from Rodriguez. The extra point was no good, but with 6.7 seconds left in the first half, the Spartans had a 13-7 lead.

It would be deep in the third quarter when the Wildcats regained the lead with Young’s second touchdown of the night, a five-yard run with 2:04 left in the third quarter. Haro’s extra point gave the Wildcats a 14-13 lead.

Brawley Union High senior Isaiah Young runs through a wide open lane during the Wildcats’ 34-21 Bell Game victory over Central at Cal Jones Field in El Centro on Friday, Oct. 29. | MARIO RENTERIA PHOTO

Young extended Brawley’s lead with two more touchdowns on runs of 40 and 38 yards, respectively, in the fourth quarter. With successful Haro extra points, the Wildcats took a 28-13 lead with 3:28 left to play.

The Spartans tried to rally when Rodriguez connected with Sullivan for a 25-yard touchdown pass. After a successful two-point conversion, the Wildcats’ lead was cut to 28-21.

Central opted for an onside kick attempt, but it was recovered by Brawley junior Gilbert Corrales. Wildcats junior quarterback Ethan Gutierrez then ran it 13 yards for a touchdown and the final score of the night, 34-21.

“Hats off to Brawley, they did a good job with their run game,” said Central head coach David “Rookie” Peña. “I’m very proud of our kids and how they fought.”