Basha improved to 2-1 with a convincing 54-28 win over visiting Cesar Chavez in a Division I football game Thursday night. The Bears used timely defense and a consistent short passing game to hold off Cesar Chavez.
The game’s first quarter set the stage for a tight game as both Basha and Cesar Chavez had impressive opening drives. Cesar Chavez was stalled twice in the first quarter on fourth down attempts, while Basha was able to score at the goalline and take a 7-0 lead into the second quarter. The Champions tied the game on the first play of the period, but from that point on it was all Basha.
The Bears would score 26 unanswered points on the back of three second-quarter interceptions. Coach Bernie Busken felt poor defense by Cesar Chavez also contributed to his team’s explosive quarter.
“They couldn’t cover us,” Busken said after the game. “All we had to do was get the ball off.”
Once the Bears found this weakness in Cesar Chavez’s defense, they continued to exploit it for the rest of the half, effectively putting the game out of reach with short completions that continually turned into big gains.
The offensive standout for Basha were quarterback Zach Werlinger who completed 17 of his 33 passes for 240 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to receiver Doc O’Connor. The running game was held in check, but Beskin saw little reason to alter his pass-heavy attack.
“If they can’t guard you then why run at them?” he said.
Cesar Chavez’s offense looked strong in the first quarter, but was stifled once it fell behind. Quarterback Ivan Jones was forced to throw 50 times, but only completed 20 passes for 290 yards. He was intercepted four times.
Beskin was pleased with the victory but sees a tough road ahead for his team.
“We’re not playing very well right now,” Beskin said. “We play really good teams from here on. Glad we got a win, but [Cesar Chavez] is not who we’re trying to beat.”
Basha 54, Cesar Chavez 28
First Downs: Basha 17, CC 18
Rushing: Basha 33-162, CC 31-84
Passing (comp.-att.-TD-INT): Basha 18-35-4-1, CC 20-50-290-3-4
Fumbles-lost: Basha 2-0, CC 4-0
Penalties-yards: Basha 14-70, CC 11-95
Cesar Chavez 0 7 7 14 -- 28
Basha 7 26 7 14 -- 54
Basha: Meriwether 1 run (Thompson kick)
Cesar Chavez: Clayton 21 pass from Jones (Johnson kick)
Basha: Schmidt 23 pass from Werlinger (Thompson kick)
Basha: O’Connor 14 pass from Werlinger (Thompson kick no good)
Basha: O’Connor 61 pass from Werlinger (Thomson kick)
Basha: Thompson 43 FG
Basha: Thompson 22 FG
Cesar Chavez: Bryant 28 pass from Jones (Johnson kick)
Basha: Conrad 36 run (Thompson kick)
Basha: Yamamoto 14 pass from Werlinger (Thomson kick)
Cesar Chavez: Jones 1 run (Johnson kick)
Basha: Reed 2 run (Thompson kick)
Cesar Chavez: Clayton 8 pass from Jones (Johnson kick)