STANFIELD — The Tigers were slow to start, but ended Friday’s Blue Mountain Conference showdown in spectacular fashion.
Junior running back Enrique Arellano ran for 231 yards and three touchdowns as Stanfield overcame a scoreless first quarter and an early deficit to defeat the visiting Weston-McEwen TigerScots 28-14 in league action.
“I did expect a fight,” Arellano said of the TigerScots. “I knew they were going to come out and give it their all, and they did.”
Weston-McEwen’s rock solid defense held sturdy in the first quarter, keeping the Tigers off their side of the field for the opening six minutes, but the TigerScots could do no better. Weston-McEwen ended the quarter with the ball in its possession, as they could not surpass the Tigers’ 43-yard line before the buzzer.
“We were doing a great job of getting in position,” Tigers head coach Davie Salas said, “but we just couldn’t finish.”
Weston-McEwen senior quarterback Kelen McGill hurled a 22-yard pass to junior wide receiver Isaac Wood in the end zone, but was intercepted by freshman corner back Caleb Henning, keeping the score locked at 0-0 in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
McGill quickly made amends with a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Theo White at 9:46. Although the extra point was no good, the TigerScots held its first of two advantages for the night at 6-0.
“He’s a great athlete,” coach Salas said of McGill. “We weren’t prepared (for him).”
Arellano ran in a touchdown at the six-minute mark, and the ensuing conversion put Stanfield on top 8-6.
McGill and White combined for another touchdown with just 22 seconds left in the half, and teamed up for a successful conversion that gave Weston-McEwen a 14-8 lead to take into the locker room.
Stanfield senior defensive end Mario Sanchez picked up a Weston-McEwen fumble early in the third quarter, but neither team was able to find the end zone in the following 12 minutes, keeping Weston-McEwen ahead for the remainder of the quarter.
Arellano put 12 yards on the ground not two minutes into the fourth quarter, pushing the ball to the TigerScots’ 2-yard line, and then crossed the goal line on the following play to knot the score at 14-14. The conversion broke the tie for good.
To put some more distance between his team and Weston-McEwen, senior offensive guard Mikey Connell recovered a fumble 20 seconds later, and ran 35 yards into the end zone.
“Those are everything,” Connell said. “It changed everything. Our attitudes, our competition.”
The Tigers got one more touchdown from Arellano for good measure before the clock ran out, and Stanfield made off with a pulse-pounding victory in its Blue Mountain Conference opener.
“Today showed a lot about us,” coach Salas said. “Our emotions were everywhere. That’s how it is sometimes. But once they calmed down, they understood that they could pull through and do it.”
Stanfield (3-1, 1-0 BMC) heads to Grant Union next week for another league game. Weston-McEwen (2-2, 0-1 BMC) will visit Riverside.