Palm Springs forced a turnover on downs in the final minute Friday, capturing a 21-14 victory over Cathedral City in the Blue and Red Game that extended its winning streak against its Desert Valley League rival to nine games.
The game almost didn’t happen. Ralph Watt Stadium and the surrounding area in Palm Springs lost power around 6 p.m. and it remained out for about 45 minutes. Palm Springs athletic director Dennis Zink was originally told it could take anywhere from six to 24 hours for power to be restored, so he began looking into a contingency plan to move the game to Saturday.
Fortunately, power was restored about 20 minutes before kickoff, the game resumed as scheduled and the Indians held on the the Blue and Red Trophy, which they’ve kept in Palm Springs since 2008.
“It feels good to continue the streak,” senior linebacker Brian Morales said, “But C.C. gave it their all this game. They did a great job and really fought to the end tonight.”
Palm Springs scored the first two touchdowns in a game that got off to an unusually slow start. Isaiah Beltran found the end zone first for the Indians on a 46-yard strike from Jeremy Dotson, who did not play for much of the second half. Dotson then found the end zone on a quarterback keeper in the second quarter to give Palm Springs a 14-0 lead.
But the Lions answered just before halftime on a 37-yard pass from Jordan Wallace to James Green with 38 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Josh Barlow scored early in the second half to put Palm Springs up, 21-7, but again Green kept the Lions in it with a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Indians held on in the fourth quarter, ending a Cathedral City drive just 30 yards from the end zone to close out the game and extend the streak, which began in 2008. Palm Springs leads the all-time series 17-6, and has beaten Cathedral City 15 of the last 17 times the two teams have played.
This time, though, the Lions nearly ended the streak.
“My hats off to Cathedral City,” said Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy, who is now 5-0 against the Lions. “They’re much improved and (Coach Richard Lee) has them believing, and we’re fortunate to come away with this win tonight.”
The Class of 1966 celebrated its 50th reunion at Palm Springs High on Friday, and the Class of ’91 and Class of ’96 were also celebrating milestone reunions this Homecoming weekend.
The Indians, who began the season 0-3 before a being awarded a forfeit victory in the first of those three, have suddenly emerged as a legitimate DVL title contender. Palm Springs narrowly lost last week to La Quinta, which is one of just two unbeaten teams in the league. Murphy said it was the best his team has played all season.
La Quinta plays the other undefeated DVL team, Shadow Hills, next week.The Indians, meanwhile, hold a 2-1 DVL record and play Shadow Hills on Oct. 21.
That Palm Springs is still in the thick of the race for the league title is evidence that the Indians have come a long way since that 0-3 start. But Murphy believes Friday’s win is nothing more than a small step for his squad.
“We’re coming together, but we’re not there yet,” Murphy said. “I’m happy for the win, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
READ MORE:Golden Eagles can’t overcome mistakes
READ MORE:La Quinta prevails in offensive showdown
READ MORE:Rams fall to Yucca Valley after brawl
READ MORE: Conquerors rout eight-man rivals
PALM SPRINGS 21, CATHEDRAL CITY 14
1 2 3 4 T
PS 7 7 7 0 21
CC 0 7 7 0 14
Passing (Comp-Att-TD-INT-Yards) PS: Jeremy Dotson 11-20-0-0-143, Rudy Flores 0-2-0-1-0. CC: Jordan Wallace 6-14-0-0-98.
Rushing (Att-Yards-TD) PS: Josh Barlow 12-108-1, Jeremy Dotson 7-19-1, Damien Lee 2-62, Isaiah Scott 1-4, Nick Reyes-Foster 8-31, Domanick Murray 2-6. CC: Jordan Wallace 21-72. James Green 12-21.
Receiving (Rec-Yards-TD) PS: Isaiah Beltran 5-86-1, Stanton Lewis 2-29, Damien Lee 2-17, Nick Reyes-Foster 1-10, Andre Bradley 1-4. CC: James Green 6-98-1.
(PS) Isaiah Beltran 46-yard pass from Jeremy Dotson (Leonel Munguia kick)
(PS) Dotson 1-yard run (Munguia kick)
(CC) James Green 37-yard pass from Jordan Wallace (kick good)
(PS) Josh Barlow 1-yard run (Munguia kick)
(CC) James Green 102-yard interception return (kick good)