East County Sports

Steele Canyon wins in Cougar-like conditions

Steele Canyon sideline before their game against Brawley on Friday.




EastCountySports.com staff report


BRAWLEY — Steele Canyon senior quarterback THOMAS FISHBURNE scored two touchdowns and the Cougars held off a late Brawley rally Friday night and opened the season with a 24-20 victory over the Wildcats in the Imperial Valley.

Fishburne scored a touchdown just before the end of the first quarter on a 1-yard design run for a 7-0 lead.

DEONTAE MCKINNEY scored on a fourth-and-1 carry from 11 yards out to give Steele Canyon a 14-0 edge.

McKinney finished with 93 yards on 21 sorties.

Brawley scored to slice the early deficit in half with just over four minutes left before halftime.

Brawley came out and scored on the first drive of the second half, tying the game at 14-all.

Fishburne scored on a 1-yard sneak with 2:35 left in the third quarter to take the lead back.

Steele Canyon led by 10 with under six minutes left after adding a fourth quarter field goal.

With three minutes and change to go in the game Brawley junior quarterback Casey Kline connected with senior wide receiver Branden Gutierrez for a 27-yard touchdown to get themselves within four points.

However, Cougar senior ROBERT WHITEHEAD blocked the ensuing extra point.

The Cougars appeared to have converted on a fourth down in Wildcat territory, but a fumble was recovered by Brawley with 1:20 left.

The Wildcats were near midfield with less than 30 seconds left, but a pass from Kline to the left side of the field was intercepted by junior safety ALEXANDER ATHERTON.

The young Wildcats struggled early to stop the Cougars’ running game.

After the Wildcats tied the game, Steele Canyon once again relied heavily on its rushing attack and overcame some late penalties. A testament to the fortitude of a young, but learning offensive line.

In the fourth quarter, the Cougars were able, with their running game, to manage the clock effectively and capped a five-minute drive with a 33-yard field goal by Fishburne to take a 10 point lead with 5:51 left in the game.

The Cougars had a strong return game, starting every possession in Wildcat territory, thanks to JORDAN ANDERSON and RANDY JORDAN.

BILLY TELLOUS helped the Cougars’ defense late thwart.

The temperature was over 100° at kick off.


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