Varsity football edges Baldwin Park

Varsity football scored 35 unanswered points to win its second game of the season against Baldwin Park on Friday Sept. 26.

The Braves opened the game with an 85-yard kickoff return touchdown to start 7-0 just 12 seconds into the game. The Braves then took advantage of three consecutive turnovers by the Mustangs, with Baldwin Park quarterback sophomore Antwaun Ayers and wide receiver senior Jayson Miller leading the offensive push to lead 21-0 by the end of the first quarter.

“I was disappointed we were losing because we shouldn’t have been losing in the first place. We didn’t really change any of our plays, we just had a change of heart and when our offense started to go off our defense went along with it. After Matt Magallanez ran all the way to the endzone we were hyped and played even harder,” senior halfback Jeffrey Maes said.

Both teams came into the second quarter with strong defensive efforts, but quarterback junior Micah Maes connected with wide receiver senior Adam Broad for a 34 yard touchdown reception to shift the momentum to the Mustangs. Two fumbles by the Braves allowed the Mustangs to take over on offense, converting the two turnovers by the Braves into 14 points. The second quarter ended with the score tied 21-21.

In the third quarter, Mustangs offense was met with solid defense from Baldwin Park and it struggled to gain yards due to additional penalties. A 27 yard pass completion to wide receiver senior Matt Magallanez placed the Mustangs at the 5 yard line with 9:05 left. Then an 8 yard run touchdown run by running back senior Andy Coronado put the Mustangs up 28-21 for Walnut’s first lead of the game.

“We knew that we could beat them. We had more spirit than they did and we came in the second quarter playing harder than ever. It was my first time being running back after 3 years on varsity and I have to give it to the lineman that created a hole for me and let me run all the way to the endzone [for touchdowns],” Magallanez said.

In the fourth quarter, Coronado burst out for a 50 yard run, which was turned into a 70 yard gain by a defensive penalty, putting Walnut in the red zone. Magallanez scored on a short run to give the Mustangs a two possession lead at 35-21 with 8:36 left in the game. The Braves’ offense only managed to score one more touchdown before the game ended 35-28, and dropped a potential game-tying Hail Mary to give Walnut the victory.

“We had a good game plan executed it well because we knew their defense and they didn’t make adjustments and that’s exactly what we wanted. We made some defensive adjustments and offensive adjustments and we controlled the game. We just started to build momentum and we got the W,” coach Mike O’Shields said.

by Brian Wu, Sports editor

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