SPORTS BRAWLEY VS. MORSE
BRAWLEY — Scoring two unanswered second-half touchdowns, the Morse High Tigers defeated the Brawley Union High School Wildcats, 22-14, in a San Diego CIF Division III quarterfinal game at Warne Field Friday night.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats and fifth-seeded Tigers battled it out in a very physical game whose outcome went down to the last minute.
“I think the kids played extremely hard,” said Brawley Head Coach Jon Self. “It was a tough game physically, and they had a couple of special athletes, and yet we were right there with them.”
Brawley took the opening kicko and drove 68 yards to the Morse 1-yard line where senior Casey Kline scored on a quarterback sneak.
Kline returned to action in the Bell Game after re-injuring his shoulder, an injury which cost him three games in 2017 and three more this season, after talking with Boise State’s football sta where he has committed to play next season.
“They left the decision up to me. … The MRI was bad, and I was at 60 percent, but that was enough to get out there,” Kline said. “But I knew there was never going to be a uniform I’d put on with more pride than my hometown’s, so I just played the best I could.”
Brawley missed the PAT and led 6-0 until UCLA-bound Shamar Martin engineered a drive and capped it with a 6-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion to give the Tigers an 8-6 advantage.
Brawley rallied with a 79-yard drive that ended just 0:36.6 before halftime, when senior running back Michael Moreno scored from 1 yard out and then converted a two-point run to give the Wildcats a 14-8 halftime lead.
Moreno su ered a high-ankle injury on his first carry of the Bell Game two weeks ago, and his play was limited.
“No way I was going to miss this. … The doctor said I could play, and even less than 100 percent, I was going to play, and I finally got the touchdown,” Moreno said.
“We played hard all game long, fought to the end, and I’m so proud of this team. We had a lot of things happen this year, but everybody stepped up.”
Morse would open the second half with a 79-yard drive and scored a two-point conversion to retake the lead at 16-14.
Isiah Thompson broke loose in the fourth quarter for an 85yard touchdown run.
Brawley played stellar defense throughout the game as the Tigers pounded the football and only attempted two passes, which went incomplete.
“I left it all on the field. … I knew if we lost it was my last game so I played with urgency,” said Wildcat linebacker Deonte Bell. “Their line was physical, but we could handle that, but their backs were fast and a couple mistakes cost us the game.”
Brawley tried to come back with two late drives each of which failed despite the Wilcats uno cially gaining more yards passing (148) than rushing (126).
Brawley finishes the 2018 season with an 8-3 overall record and an Imperial Valley League mark of 4-1.
”I’m very proud of the e ort tonight, and I have a lot of respect for this team,” Self said. “They came to play tonight, and they came to play each game all season.”
Brawley Union High’s Nathan Godinez gets sacked as he runs the ball against Morse High during a CIF San Diego Div. III football game on Friday in Brawley.