Ron Shipley had never seen a 59-yard field goal in a high school football game, and he wishes he hadn’t seen one Friday night.
“I knew with this wind behind him, I knew he had a big leg,” Shipley said moments after Brawley’s David Quintero squeezed in a field goal from a foot short of 60 yards at the buzzer to give the Wildcats a 24-21 win over a stunned Shadow Hills Knights team in Indio.
Quintero, a senior playing his first year of football, capped a tight fourth quarter that saw both teams score touchdowns and saw Shadow Hills make a last-minute drive that was quickly flip-flopped by an interception.
The loss dropped Shadow Hills to 0-3 on the young season, but the Knights showed more competitiveness against Brawley (1-2) than in their first two games.
“We’ve definitely got some improvement to do,” Shipley said. “We’ve got some things to clean up. I thought our kids played with a lot off heart today. The kids played well. It was just too many mistakes.”
Some of that improved play came from running back Tony Williams, who ran for 140 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 3-yard run on a direct snap on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Shadow Hills a 21-14 lead.
“Offensive line did a really good job this week,” Williams said. “The defense stepped up. Actually, the defense has been playing really well. It didn’t look like it, but the offense wasn’t getting anything going (in the first two games).”
After Williams’ second touchdown, Brawley went on a 70-yard drive that took more than 6 minutes, 40 seconds. Nathan Suit scored his second touchdown of the night on a 2-yard run to tie the game at 21-21 with 4:11 left in the game.
Shadow Hills quickly moved down the field after the kickoff, but a long pass into the wind from quarterback J.D. Lang came up just short of a receiver near the goal line on third down. On fourth down, another Lang pass was intercepted and returned to the Shadow Hills’ 43 with seven seconds to play. After one long pass into the end zone was incomplete, Quintero came on and hit the improbable game-winning kick.
“Again, we’ll have to look at the film to see what we need to clean up, but we saw some signs tonight that the team is starting to come together after a tough first couple of weeks,” Shipley said.
Some of the mistakes that Shipley and his coaching staff will want to clean up will include penalties. The Knights were hit for 10 penalties for 88 yards and had one 15-yard personal foul wiped out by an offsetting foul on Brawley. In addition, the Knights turned the ball over on interceptions on their first and their last drives of the game. Brawley lost two fumbles during the game, including one that set up the Knights’ final touchdown when Knights’ defensive back Nathan Tiaga got a hand on a pitch in the Wildcats backfield, forcing the turnover and giving Shadow Hills the ball on the Brawley 13. Williams scored his second touchdown four plays later.
Shadow Hills will conclude non-league action Friday with a game at Cathedral City.
Brawley 24, Shadow Hills 21
(SH) — Tony Williams 19 run (kick)
(B) — Nathan Suit 8 run (Quintero kick)
(SH) — J.D. Lang 6 run (Munoz kick)
(B) — Austyn Gutierrez 1 run (Quintero kick)
(SH) — Williams 3 run (Munoz kick)
(B) — Suits 2 run (Quintero kick)
(B) — Quintero 59 field goal
RUSHING (Carries-Yds-TD) – B: Nathan Suits 17-105-2, Austyn Gutierrez 11-50-1, A.J. Grijalva 9-30, Moises Lazos 7-35, George Mickle 3-14, Kevin Kastner 1-1 (SH): Tony Williams 21-140-2, Jared Gipson 5-25, J.D. Lang 4-14-1, Dameon Stovall 4-14, Derwin Johsnon 1-3
PASSING (Comp-Att-TD-INT-Yds) – B: A.J. Grijalva 1-4-0-38. SH: J.D. Lang, 4-10-2-104, Tony Williams 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING (Rec-Yds-TD) – B: Kevin Kastner 1-38. SH: Nathan Tiaga 3-92, Moises Lazos 1-2.