“Brenden was confident in releasing the ball,” Aguirre said “He did a good job. I don’t care who the opponent was.”
Crean Lutheran South (0-3) has yet to score this season and has allowed 158 points in its three losses. It is in its first season of varsity competition. Bell-Jeff (3-2) gave the Saints a game, and then some.
A 45-yard touchdown run from Abdo Hajj and Joshua Martinez’s punt return for a touchdown gave the Guards an early 14-0 lead in the opening quarter.
The passing game took over from there. Alferez found Kevin Yuenyonsakul for a 35-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter.
Alferez’s next pass attempt on the following offensive possession resulted in a 42-yard touchdown pass to Micah Shirley.
The two hooked up again later in the quarter, this time on a 14-yard touchdown pass that gave the Guards a 35-point advantage.
Shirley caught four balls for 70 yards and Hajj had six rushes for 102 yards.
Aguirre put the passing game to rest late in the third quarter. He opted to run the ball and kill the clock, instead of pouring it on the Saints.
“We have to be humble, and leave them with positives,” Aguirre said. “We showed maturity.”
The Saints’ defense, however, had trouble tackling, and the Guards tacked on 12 more points on two touchdown runs from Robert Guevara and David Bustillos.
The Guards’ defense, on the other hand, held the Saints to just 41 yards of total offense in the first half. For the game, the Saints managed to gain a meager 104 — 98 on the ground.
Bell-Jeff gained 233 yards on offense in the first half on its way to 303 for the game.
The Saints picked up just four first downs despite running 35 plays, while the Guards needed just 23 plays to do their damage mainly because they started all but one of their drives on Crean-Lutheran’s side of the field.
Bell-Jeff has one more nonleague game with Silver Valley before the Santa Fe League season kicks off.
Alferez’s performance surely puts the coaching staff a bit more at ease, especially with Diaz’s return still uncertain.
“We’re hoping he comes back [this week], but we’ll see,” Aguirre said. “It gets tougher next week.”