The Big Pine Warriors were coming off a tough loss to Lee Vining; the Eagles were coming off their own Homecoming loss to Trona.
Both teams are young, but the Eagles had the advantages of numbers over the tough, tenacious 9-man Warriors’ squad.
Big Pine didn’t deliver the win, but they put up some good numbers in the second half, ending the game with a spectacular TD pass from Kelby Chirrick to Jacob Bacoch in the end zone and following up with the 2-point conversion for a final score of 48-16.
Lone Pine put together a strong drive to start Saturday’s game. Despite big hits from Soda Moose, Bailey Chirrick and Austin Jones, the Eagles penetrated Big Pine territory on a pass play from Garrett Sullivan to Milton Mendoza at 3rd and 16. Doug Moore finished the drive with a TD; Ivan Camacho put the ball between the uprights for the point-after and the Eagles were off to a 7-0 start.
Big Pine went four and punted. Moore took the kick at mid-field and was finally brought down on the Warriors’ 6-yard line. PJ Zrelak finished the drive with a TD, the PAT was good and the Eagles led 14-0.
The Warriors started on their own 15 after Camacho put the kick-off into the end zone. A Bacoch pass was tipped but ended up in Warrior Moses Davis’ hands for a quick 9-yard gain. The Eagles put a stop to the drive; Big Pine punted, the ball was loose and Dominick Santiago recovered to keep the ball in the Warriors’ possession. The Warriors couldn’t capitalize on the gift and turned the ball over on downs.
On its next possession, Big Pine had good field possession but the offense got pinned down near the Lone Pine 20. At 4th and 15, a roughing the passer penalty against the Eagles kept the ball in the Warriors’ hands, but a fumble on Lone Pine’s 20 was recovered by the Eagles.
The Eagles ended the quarter near mid-field. A potential Moore TD run was called back with an illegal procedure call. Big Pine put the exclamation point on the quarter with a QB sack by Davis and Dennis Fimbres.
Starting the second quarter at 3rd and 16, Sullivan found Juan Gutierrez for a 50-yard TD pass play and Lone Pine was ahead 21-0.
Big Pine answered with a big pass play from Bacoch to Santiago to threaten, but Eagle Bryce Benites pulled off an interception and went the distance to give the Eagles a 28-0 lead.
Warrior Austin Jones gave the crowd a reason to cheer with a 36-yard run to put the ball in Lone Pine territory, but a fumble, recovered by Eagle Jacob Waldt, ended the drive.
Lone Pine’s next drive was interrupted by a block in the back penalty that called back a Moore TD and put the Eagles at 1st and 30 on their own 29. At 4th and 26, Moore broke loose for a 46-yard run. Bailey Chirrick and Fimbres held the Eagles at the 1, but Sullivan dove in for the TD and a 35-0 lead.
The Eagles scored one more TD before the half on a 21-yard pass play to Moore to up the lead 42-0.
Lone Pine started its first possession in the third quarter with a 46-yard pass play that put Benites in the end zone. The point-after was no good, but Lone Pine lead 48-0.
The Eagles got loaded up with penalties that pushed them back to 4th and 20 on their next possession, forcing a punt. Bailey Chirrick ran the ball to Big Pine’s 15, but the possession ended in an interception by Julio Pedroza giving the Eagles possession on prime Big Pine real estate.
The Warriors kept the Eagles wrapped up just inside the 10. Then regained possession on downs early in the fourth.
Big Pine’s offense moved down field with a 15-yard pass play from Bacoch to Bailey Chirrick to set the Warriors up on its own 36. At 4th and 3, QB Kelby Chirrick connected with Santiago for an 8-yard gain and a first down in Lone Pine territory. Bailey Chirrick was on the receiving end of a 31-yard pass play that put Big Pine on the board. Santiago went in on the 2-point conversion, putting the score at 48-8.
A charged-up Warriors slammed the Eagles their first play, forcing a fumble and recovering the ball on the Eagles’ 21-yard line.
Davis pulled down a pass from Kelby Chirrick to advance to the Eagles’ 5. With the clock ticking down, Kelby Chirrick let one fly to Jacob Bacoch in the end zone for a TD; another successful conversion gave the Warriors a respectable 48-16 score.
“I’m happy with the game,” said Lone Pine coach John Kane. Moore, Zrelak and Josh Mendez all had good games, Kane said, adding that the team’s pass completions are improving. “The front four did a great job and we saw good things from Perry Hawkins, Owen Green, Edgar Perez and Ivan Camacho.”
Big Pine coach Darrin Chirrick was pleased with his players. “Everyone played well,” he said. “Bailey really carried us with 15 tackles and 65 yards on offense. We’re improving.” The coach noted strong performances from his freshmen, Davis, Santiago and Kelby Chirrick.