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Guards blast out of gate

FOOTBALL: Chaidez gains 172 yards and scores two TDs in Bell-Jeff’s 25-7 win against Malibu.

September 05, 2007|By Rick Assad

MEMORIAL FIELD — Promises were made, and promises were kept by Bellarmine-Jefferson High football Coach Rolando Aguirre.

In the offseason, Aguirre was determined to lighten star running back Jorge Chaidez’s work load, and give the standout some help in the backfield.

So far, so good.

In a season-opening, Zero Week nonleague game Saturday against Malibu at Memorial Field, the plan worked to perfection, as the Guards walked away with a 25-7 victory.

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Chaidez gained a game-best 172 yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns. However, he carried the ball only eight times.

“I know and understand what coach is trying to do,” Chaidez said of Aguirre’s strategy. “It really doesn’t matter to me [the number of carries I get], just as long as we get the win. It’s good that the other guys are going to get the ball because now they have to concentrate on all of us.”

How busy was Chaidez in 2006? He rushed for 1,632 yards and carried the ball 253 times.

Even though the Guards have played just one game, Aguirre likes what he saw in the convincing win.

“We want to spread the wealth, and we did that [Saturday],” he said. “I know the other players are capable of giving us big games.”

Two such players are junior fullback Bronson Ketchum, who handled the ball seven times and ran for 16 yards with one touchdown, and senior back Eric Ruelas, who finished with 23 yards on a pair of rushes.

“Bronson played well, but he made a couple of key mistakes,” Aguirre said of the player who was called for clipping twice on two long runs. “But he’s going to be OK. He gets a little too excited, and wants to do everything. He tries real hard, and is a good player. He just needs to focus.”

Ketchum’s two-yard scoring run with 6:56 remaining in the first quarter gave Bell-Jeff a 6-0 lead.

The touchdown was set up when Chaidez returned a punt from Bell-Jeff’s 45-yard line to the Malibu 7. However, because of a clipping call on Ketchum, the Guards had possession at the 27. After Chaidez’s 25-yard run, Ketchum found the end zone.

Chaidez’s first touchdown was a 75-yard scoring dash with 2:40 left in the third quarter that gave the Guards an 18-0 advantage.

With 11:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, Chaidez scored on a 27-yard burst that pushed Bell-Jeff’s margin to 25-0.

Chaidez also showed his versatility in the game, hauling in two passes for 37 yards.

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