Calexico defeats Holtville 14-12 on Friday night to advance to first ever CIF SDS Division semi-final
HOLTVILLE, Calif ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - The last time the Calexico Bulldogs played the Holtville Vikings this season was on September 17th in Holtville at Birger Field. It was a game in which Calexico would never lead and lost 29-28. After an opening round playoff win over Maranatha Christian, which also was Calexico's first home playoff win since 1982, Calexico looked to rewrite the program's history books with consecutive playoff wins.
In order to do that, the Bulldogs would need to win on the road in Holtville.
"Nobody believed in them but they believed in themselves," Calexico head coach Fernando Solano said. "Once we made the playoffs we just told the kids, everything they do from now on could be making history."
In the first drives of the game, both teams turned the ball over. Calexico would eventually break into the scoring column first on a long touchdown from Abram Zazueta to Andrew Rivera. Later in the first half, Ernie Sanchez ripped off a 35 yard touchdown run and Calexico took a 14-0 lead into the half.
The score remained the same into the fourth quarter. Holtville would scores twice but miss on both two point conversion attempts. That would prove to be the deciding factor as the Bulldog defense would stand firm en route to a Calexico 14-12 win.
"We really don't have a record of us making it to the semi-finals," Solano said. "We made history tonight for sure."
It's the first time in program history that the Bulldogs won back to back games in the playoffs and advanced to the CIF San Diego Section Divisional semi-finals.
Coach Solano says the early season loss to Holtville actually helped his team.
"If anything it built confidence," Solano said. "They understood what it would take to come in here and get a victory. They would have to play with extra emotion, correct their mistakes but most importantly they had the belief."
Calexico will now travel to San Diego and play Mission Bay next Friday night.