Buena’s trick plays foil DP’s shot at the playoffs

Buena used a little trickery to make a CIF playoff berth vanish for Dos Pueblos Friday night.

The Bulldogs scored on a flea flicker and a hook-and-ladder play set up the winning touchdown in a 14-7 football victory over the Chargers.

The loss knocks DP (4-6, 2-2) out of a CIF playoff spot, as Buena (6-4, 3-1) finishes second in the Channel League and qualifies for the Western Division playoffs.

The difference maker was Buena’s trick-play execution as both of its scores were the result of plays pulled from the back of the playbook.

The Chargers sole touchdown came in the beginning of the second quarter, when a 28-yard rush from senior running back Tyler Welch helped set up a 6-yard passing touchdown from junior quarterback Barrett Burnes to senior receiver Leshon Bell. Burnes also highlighted that drive with a 20-yard completion to senior receiver Matt Sessler.

The Chargers struggled to produce any kind of offense from there on out.

Buena’s offense wasn’t thriving either, but it was able to even the score when a double-reverse flea-flicker trick play set up a wide open Tyler Harbert for a 47-yard touchdown catch. The pass was delivered by sophomore quarterback Martin Mijares.

“We figured we were playing so well on defense that they had to score on trick plays,” said DP coach Nate Mendoza.

The aggressive Charger defense, led by senior linebacker David Blevins, controlled the line of scrimmage. Senior linemen Micah Ruiz came through with multiple key defensive stops and was assisted by sophomore Eric Botello. Junior defensive back Caesar Flores also added an interception in the third quarter.

The Chargers defense and the absence of star running back Noah Martinez most likely influenced the Bulldogs to try a little trickery.

Buena’s go-ahead touchdown came early in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Mijares to senior receiver Blayne Bennett. This was setup by a flawless hook-and-ladder play, caught by Bennett and pitched to sophomore Mason Beling for 65 yards.

“We knew we had nothing to lose,” said Bennett of the trick play, “so it seemed like a perfect time to run it.”

The Bulldogs were able to thwart the Chargers final efforts with two 4th quarter interceptions, one by junior linebacker Roy Angulo and the other by Bennett.

“Hats off to Buena,” said Mendoza. “They did a good job.”