Eagles, Wildcats prepped for clash
EL CENTRO — The Southwest and Brawley Union High football teams are gearing up for what is sure to be an intense and exciting game here on Friday night.
The 6-0 Eagles are set to host the 4-2 Wildcats in a key Imperial Valley League contest that could help paint an early picture of this year’s IVL championship team.
Both teams are coming off week six victories with Southwest defeating Central Union High School, 35-6, and Brawley handling Palo Verde Valley, 53-6, last week.
Last year, the team’s played to a final score of 17-0 in favor of Brawley, who went on to claim the 2016 IVL title.
The Eagles are confident this could be their year to snag an IVL crown, yet standing in their way is a historically successful Wildcat program, followed by another title contender in Imperial High School on Oct. 20.
As they have since 2015, the Eagles enter their game against the Wildcats without a blemish on their record.
While Southwest has struggled with Brawley the past few seasons, they enter the game with a defense that has only allowed 30 points on the season.
This has helped build the Eagles’ confidence as they prepare to face their toughest challenges yet.
“It’s going to be a very good game,” said Southwest senior Wyatt Mason. “It’s going to test us and it’s going to test them. We’re both good teams that have come together to face off on the gridiron.”
Mason said another strong component of this year’s Southwest team is its chemistry.
Fellow senior Jonathan Puga agreed that the Eagles have been meshing well in their past few games.
“Our team’s been looking pretty strong for the past week, especially with our good win that we got last week against Central,” he said.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles have a handful of offensive weapons at their disposal.
Southwest is led by running back and receiver Tyler Saikhon, quarterback Cameron Jungers and an additional back in Justin Cordova, who has been on the mend and provided Southwest with good yards against Central.
“It’s going to be a very good match up for people to see,” Puga said. “It’s going to be a hardfought game that’ll come down to wire at the end of the game.” which has always been a strong suit for Brawley.
“We have to know what we’re doing and we have to want to play and bring that Brawley defense that we bring every year,” said senior linebacker Anthony Batt, regarding the Wildcats’ defensive reputation.
As the defending IVL champs, Batt said he’s more than aware of the target on the team’s back and is embracing the challenge of defending the title.
“What I’m looking forward to most is the crowd and seeing everyone there,” Batt said. “Our home town supporting us all the way like they have been all year. It feels good to know that they’re there, watching us do what we do best.”
Also anticipating Friday’s matchup is defensive lineman, Alek Aguirre.
“I feel good going into Friday,” Aguirre said. “We’ve been preparing like we have for any other game. We take IVL week by week and overcome every challenge. We’re not taking any team for granted. We’re anxious, we really want to step out on that field.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Southwest High’s Eagle Field.
Watch the game live at ivpressonline.com
Brawley Union High quarterback Casey Kline makes a pass to a receiver during their team practice on Tuesday in Brawley. VINCENT OSUNA PHOTO