• Mark Keppel Blanks Gabrielino, 13-0


    by David Winchell

    As time wound downthe realization began to sink in to Mark Keppel Aztecs team, coaches and their faithfulfans that victory was theirs. TheAztecs, who had not won a game since October 2009, were about to notch anotherone against the Gabrielino Eagles, 13-0 as the roar from all the Aztecs continuedto grow louder. Ironically, thelast victory was also a shutout when they whitewashed Mountain View, 36-0. Thiswas the first victory for the Aztecs over the Eagles in their long runningrivalry.

    The evening startedwell for the Aztecs as they stopped the Eagles on a 4th and inchesplay early in the first quarter on the Eagles own 14 yard line. Six plays later Keppel got on the boardwith a one yard plunge by running back Esequiel Jimenez. He rumbled in with 3:59 to go in thefirst quarter. Mark Keppel’sdefense continued to dominate the Eagles with constant pressure on Eagle QBLorenzo Mena. Unable to have timein the pocket, Mena was hurried often and unable to get the passing gamerolling. The running game suffered when running back Jonathan Perrini was lostfor the game midway through the second quarter to an injured lower leg after hehad been successful in his 8 carries.

    The score remained7-0 through halftime as neither offense could generate much yardage. The third quarter was markedlyfrustrating as the Eagles ended all three of their quarter’s possessions tofumbles. The second one, on theAztec 8 yard line was one play after stopping the Aztecs on 4th andtwo. The Aztec drive began on the8 yards line and culminated with another rushing touchdown by Jiminez to makethe score 13-0. The PAT wasunsuccessful. Jiminez finished thenight with 73 yards and Eagles leading rusher, Nick Hernandez, had 62 in 9carries. The Eagles committed 6turnovers in the contest.

    Coach Harold Saninwas disappointed with the number of mistakes made by his Eagles team, but wasimpressed with the Aztecs’ ability to take advantage of the miscues. “They are a solid team, and was the oneready to make plays when the opportunities were there,” Sanin commented. Aztec coach Bobby Madrid was thrilledas he commented, “This win is huge. It’s really huge for us. The kidsworked hard all week long,”

    Both teams are now1-2 and have away games this week. Mark Keppel heads to face Sierra Vista (0-2) and Gabrielino goes toContreras (1-2).

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