By Frank Smith
San Manuel Miner
The San Manuel varsity football team got its first win of the season by shutting out the visiting Imagine Prep Eagles 37 – 0.
Imagine Prep is a new charter school out of Coolidge and started the game with only 11 players suited up. An injury to an Eagles player midway through the second quarter left Imagine Prep with only 10 players on the field. The referees and coaches conferred on the field, deciding to continue the game with 10 players on each side of the ball during play; they also agreed to run the clock – only stopping on injuries and time outs.
In the third quarter, another player was injured for the Eagles forcing a stoppage in play, leaving only nine players on the field for the Eagles. The referees and the coaches conferred once again, making the call to end the game for the safety of the Imagine Prep players. The Eagles showed a lot of heart – knowing they went in short handed.
In the first quarter, the Miners scored on their first drive of the night. San Manuel began the drive at their own 47 yard line and scored four plays later as running back Ben Quijada ran the ball in to the end zone from 15 yards out for the touchdown, the point after touchdown kick was good by Anthony Garcia for a 7 – 0 lead with 8:13 on the clock. The Miners drove 53 yards in four plays, taking 2:05 on the drive.
The Miners defense would get into the scoring column on the next drive for the Eagles when Imagine Prep was backed up at their own 11 yard line facing a third down and four yards to go – the center for the Eagles snapped the ball over the quarterbacks head with it sailing into the end zone where linebacker Armando Sierra recovered the ball for the touchdown. The PAT kick by Garcia was good for a 14 – 0 Miner lead with 7:23 showing on the clock in the first quarter.
The Eagles punted the ball away after going three and out on their next possession; the Miners also gave up the ball as they turned it over on downs.
San Manuel’s defense got on the scoreboard once again as Imagine Prep were on their own six yard line where defensive back Richard Romo tackled the ball carrier in the end zone for a safety picking up two points in the process for the Miners. The score was now 16 – 0 in favor of the Miners with 3:49 on the clock in the first quarter.
With the safety pinned against the Eagles, they would now have to kick off to the Miners from their own 20 yard line; return-man Daniel Medina was back deep for the Miners. The ball landed into the arms of Medina as he hit ‘Pay Dirt’ 70 yards later returning the punt for a touchdown. The PAT kick was good by Garcia for a 23 – 0 Miners lead with 3:36 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, on the next possession for the Eagles, the offense was able to sustain a viable drive that would end on a fourth down and 15 to go – the Eagles attempted a fake punt that fell short.
The Miners would take over at their own 48 yard line and give up the ball on the first play of the drive on a fumble.
Imagine Prep took possession at the San Manuel 30 yard line and march the ball down to the Miners 15 yard line, on a fourth and 15 to go – safety Daniel Medina stepped in on Eagles pass , intercepting the ball and returning it 78 yards down field to the Imagine Prep 20 yard line.
This would set up the Miners at the 20 yard line, the first play of the drive went to running back Anthony Garcia who picked up five yards on the play to the 15 yard line. On the second play of the drive, Garcia got the call again and plowed his way into the end zone for the touchdown from 15 yards out; the PAT kick by Garcia was good for a 30 – 0 lead for the Miners with 8:06 on the clock in the second quarter. San Manuel drove 20 yards in two plays taking 1:00 on the drive. An Eagles player was injured on the touchdown play – the clock would now begin to run the rest of the game and both teams would field 10 players in the game.
The Eagles gave up the ball on downs on their next drive – after going three and out.
San Manuel took over at the Eagles 30 yard line for their last score of the night, on the third play of the drive for the Miners – running back Shane Kelly took the hand – off and sprinted 24 yards into the end zone for the touchdown, the PAT kick by Garcia was good for a 37 – 0 score with :10 before the half. The Miners drove 30 yards in three yards taking 1:50 on the drive.
The Miners took a 37 – 0 lead into the half.
In the third quarter, the Eagles took possession at their own 20 yard line with an injury occurring on the second play of the drive that would result in the game being called at 9:50 into the third quarter, with the Miners getting the win 37 – 0.
Offensively for the Miners, rushing: Shane Kelly rushed six times for 45 yards with one touchdown. Anthony Garcia rushed two times for 20 yards with one touchdown. Ben Quijada rushed two times for 17 yards with one touchdown. Richard Romo rushed one time for 12 yards.
Passing: Shane Kelly threw one pass that was incomplete,
Defensively: Alvaro Alvarez had five tackles. Shane Kelly had four tackles. Jonathan Croci had three tackles. Armando Sierra had two tackles with a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Richard Romo had one tackle for a safety. Daniel Medina had a 78 yard Interception.
On Special Teams: Daniel Medina had a 70 yard kick return for a touchdown.
Head Coach Steve Elmore said, “It was a much needed win for the guys after losing the first three games of the season. We are 1-0 in the conference and look forward to playing a much improved San Carlos team on Friday. If we keep playing hard, then we can have a successful season and possibly make a run at the playoffs.
The win moved the Miners up to 1 – 3 on the season; San Manuel will prepare to take on the much improved Braves this Friday night as they will head up to San Carlos for a 7 p.m. kick off.