Cienega and Cactus seemed to be ‘testing the water' during the first quarter. Both teams remained fairly conservative, relying mostly on their running games. Cienega's running combination, John Olague and Sergio Velasco and the Cactus running duo, Richard Morris and Glenn Koehler were both held by tough defenses. Cactus linebacker Mike May picked off a Ryan Mills pass, giving the Cobra offense good field position, but the Cobras failed to convert. Both teams' defenses were playing very well but their offenses were lacking.
Cienega decided to test their passing game against the Cobra secondary in the second quarter. They were having success with several quick hitches and wide receiver screens because Cactus' corners were giving anywhere from 10 to 15 yard cushions. The Cactus defense held strong though, and was able to give their offense a chance to score… and score they did. Two big pass plays set up Cactus' first touchdown. First, a 21 yard pass from Jon Tobin to Jordan Flores put the Cobras at midfield. Then on the next play, Tobin hit Morris for 33 yards. Morris then carried the ball in for a touchdown from 7 yards a few plays later (Ezra Ricks extra point missed). Cienega came back with a strong offensive drive, but was forced to kick a field goal, which Velasco missed. A personal foul against Cactus gave Cienega a huge break and a first down at the Cactus 7 yard line. Tight end Jack Wagner pulled in a 6 yard touchdown pass from Mills and Velasco hit the extra point, putting the Bobcats ahead of the Cobras 7-6 going into the half.
Once again, both defenses came out strong in the second half. The majority of the third quarter was back and forth punting until Cactus RB Morris broke the ice with a 43 yard touchdown run. Cactus tried for a two point conversion but failed. 12-7 Cactus
Early in the fourth quarter, Cactus RB Koehler threatened to score as he took the ball 20 yards and was tackled just short of the goal line. I gotta give credit to Cienega's defense who had been keeping them in this game. Instead of a touchdown, the Cobras were forced to settle for a field goal (Ricks 18 yards). Cienega was later shut down on two crucial fourth down conversions, both of which turned into touchdowns for Cactus. The first one gave Cactus the ball at the Cienega 27 yard line. Tobin quickly turned this into seven points by hooking up with WR Jordan Flores for an 11 yard touchdown pass (Ricks extra point good). The Bobcat's second chance was a desperate one with only two minutes left in the game. Cactus took over and scored on a fluke. Cienga stopped Cactus' offense and forced the Cobras to punt, but a mishandled snap turned into a 32 yard touchdown run by would be punter, Sterling Skidmore (Ricks extra point good).
FINAL SCORE Cactus 29 Cienega 7
Neither team's offense played well in this game. The defenses on both sides, however, played very well. I am surprised that Cienega did not attack the Cactus secondary more. They had success with short passes but did not go deep very often.
The Cactus defense: played an outstanding game and held Cienega on two crucial fourth down plays.