Until Nick Hartfield’s long pass was intercepted with 53 seconds to play, Desert Hot Springs’ hopes of reeling in its first win of the season were high.
Instead, the Golden Eagles (0-3) were left searching for positives after suffering a 20-13 defeat at the hands of Rim of the World (2-0-1) in Desert Hot Springs.
Desert Hot Springs scored 13 straight points to take a 13-6 lead early in the fourth quarter. But the Scots, who finished the night with 239 yard rushing, rumbled over a tiring Golden Eagles’ defense in the latter stages of the quarter to erase the lead. Running back Blake Wiest, who scored the tying touchdown just minutes earlier with a 13-yard run, scored the game’s final touchdown from 20 yards out with 1:26 to play.
Desert Hot Springs’ coach Will Littell was unhappy afterward, saying his team is giving great effort, but its’ situational awareness has been a letdown.
“We had kids injured left and right, and we had other kids stepping up. I love that,” said Littell. “We’ve got kids selling out. We’ve just got to get all 11 kids pulling together and selling out on every play.”
The two teams traded shooting themselves in the foot in the first half, as the two offenses combined for 138 yards. The teams also accounted for 100 yards in penalties in the half, and Rim of the World also fumbled away twice.
The lone moment of sustained offensive competence came in the second half of the second quarter, and even it was assisted by a crucial Desert Hot Springs’ mistake. On fourth and 1 from the Rim of the World 32, the Scots’ offense lined up with their regular offensive unit, and used a hard count to draw the Golden Eagles into an offside penalty.
The Eagles were made to pay the ultimate price when, six plays later, the Scots took a 6-0 lead. Of the six plays, three were runs of 15 yards or better, including the touchdown run by Evan Smith from 17 yards out. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but Rim of the World had a crucial 6-0 lead with 2:22 to play in the second quarter.
Desert Hot Springs answered with two touchdowns to take the lead, controlling the ball and dominating the third quarter. Golden Eagles’ quarterback Sirvon Campbell, who would leave the game injured in the fourth quarter, threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Julian Montez to tie the game at 6-6 with 4:49 to play in the third quarter.
The Golden Eagles took the lead when Hartfield, who came on for the injured Campbell, connected with Montez for a 11-yard touchdown with his first pass of the game. After the Scots fumbled away at the Eagles 11 midway through the fourth, The Rim of the World defense held, getting the ball back for the offense at the Desert Hot Springs’ 32. With help from a face mask penalty, the Scots moved in for the go-ahead score with 4:07 to play. Wiest finished the drive with his first of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
STAR OF THE GAME
Jordon Walker, Desert Hot Springs, LB: Walker was a force defensively, making a minimum of four tackles for losses (three sacks), 11 other tackles, and also forced and recovered a fumble with just over six minutes left in the game that kept the Eagles hopes of victory alive.
JUST THE FACTS: The game featured no fewer than seven injury delays, one requiring an ambulance…Midway though fourth quarter, one of the four light standards failed, but the game went on nonetheless, with Desert Hot Springs scoring a go-ahead touchdown playing into the darker half of the field. By the midway point of the fourth quarter, the standard was back at full strength … Rim of the World fumbled five times and lost two, while Desert Hot Springs had no fumbles …The Scots were penalized eight times for 80 yards, and the Eagles were flagged five times for 50 yards.
Rim of the World (2-0-1) hosts Woodbridge of Irvine, while Desert Hot Springs (0-3) hosts Beaumont. Both games are scheduled for Friday.
RIM OF THE WORLD 20, DESERT HOT SPRINGS 13
Rim of the World 0 6 0 14 – 20
Desert Hot Springs 0 0 6 7 – 13
ROW: Richard Roseman 17 run (run failed)
DHS: Julian Montez 33 pass from Sirvon Campbell (kick blocked)
DHS: Montez 11 pass from Nick Hartfield (Pablo Ramirez kick)
ROW: Blake Wiest 13 run (Roseman run)
ROW: Wiest 20 run (run failed)
ROW: James Schroeder, 3–13; Blake Wiest, 4-43-2; Tyler Ortiz, 17-119; Richard Roseman, 12-81; Evan Smith, 7-9.
DHS: Sirvon Campbell, 13–27; Albert Montes-Reyes, 2-61; Johnny Flores, 7-3; Nathan Ongalibang, 5-15; Nick Hartfield, 4-11; Kejuan Wyatt, 3–6.
PASSING (Comp.-Att- INT—TD- Yds) — ROW: James Schroeder, 4-8-0-0-31. DHS: Sirvon Campbell, 6-13-0-1-147; Nick Hartfield, 1-5-1-1-11.
ROW: Evan Smith, 2-33; Richard Roseman, 1–3.
DHS: Julian Montez 2-44-2; Albert Montes-Reyes, 5-111; William Gonzalez, 1-3.