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Aztecs football falls to Burros
BARSTOW • “We had five bad minutes of football and it really hurt us.”
That was how Barstow head coach Ray Silva summed up his team’s latest game. In a Desert Sky League tilt, the Aztecs hosted Burroughs on Friday, and came up short by a 35-21 score at Barstow High School.
The home team started off well and put the first points on the board. The Aztecs did almost all of their scoring in the first quarter, however. They played some good defense after that, but had a hard time adding on more points.
“We got off to a good start,” said coach Silva. “But I have to give Burroughs credit, they’re a big, physical team.”
Barstow jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Dion Brown scored on the Aztecs’ first drive. Less than two minutes later, Oshua Rothwell found the end zone on a play from scrimmage, and the Aztecs brought a 14-7 lead into the second quarter.
The Burros tied it up early in the second, but it was in the quarter’s last couple of minutes that the game got away from Barstow. It looked like it would be all knotted up at 14 at halftime, but Burroughs scored with 1:08 left, and then again with 48 seconds to go, leaving it instead a 28-14 game at the break.
“We had a couple of missed cues late in the second,” said Silva. “We played well tonight but for five minutes.”
When the Aztecs fumbled the opening kick-off of the second half, it was looking like maybe the troubles would continue. But the Barstow defense was able to keep the Burros off the board for the entire third quarter.
“Starting off the second half with a fumble, you can’t do things like that,” said coach Silva. “But our defense put the brakes on it.”
Burroughs scored its final touchdown with nine minutes left in the game. With just 29 seconds left, Barstow got its last score on a 10-yard run by George Gatti. After getting the TD, Gatti took a hard hit in the game’s few remaining seconds and ended the night with a trip to the hospital. The team is hoping he’ll be healthy for next week’s battle with Victor Valley.
Gatti finished with 38 yards rushing, while Rothwell had 67 yards, and Elijah Poupou, 33. Brown totaled 55 yards rushing, Michael Washington had five yards receiving, and quarterback Jordan Londo had 32 yards rushing and five passing.
“We’re making progress. We have young kids and we’re working on things to help us win in the future,” said coach Silva. “Keeping our heads up after making mistakes and limiting the damage is a good step. We’re doing some good things, but we’re trying to put a full game together. Tonight we did it except for those five minutes.
“We are getting better and that’s the bottom line. Right now our focus is on Victor Valley and keeping the axe.”
The traditional axe game against the Jackrabbits is at home this year, next Friday at 7 p.m. With last year’s win, the Aztecs currently hold bragging rights and aim to keep them.
“I won’t have to get the guys pumped up for next week,” said Silva. “They’re ready.”