BROWNSVILLE — The Brownsville St. Joseph Bloodhounds and the Santa Rosa Warriors put on a show after tributes to their teammates.
The Bloodhounds prevailed 71-45 against the Warriors in a non-district game Friday night at J. T. Canales Field as both communities came together to honor the recent deaths of Brownsville St. Joseph’s Anuar Jobi and Santa Rosa’s Arturo Sauceda before the game.
The Bloodhounds outscored the Warriors 29-7 in the second half to come out with the non-district win.
“Football is the vehicle and it is about how you perform at your weakest moment,” Brownsville St. Joseph head coach Tino Villarreal said. “That is what we were ultimately looking at today. It has been a difficult and emotional week. This was a big win because it was not a football win. It was a win from a grievance standpoint for these boys. It was emotional and sloppy, but at the end of the day it was important for us to walk away with this victory for our soul.”
The Bloodhounds were blessed with great performances from a number of players, but two-way standouts Lucas Cristiano and Claudio Torres made numerous plays on both sides of the ball during the second half.
“In your toughest moments you look for your most powerful leaders,” Villarreal said. “Super lucky to have Lucas Cristiano — he is a captain, Claudio Torres is a captain and they were not just selected by me, but the entire team for their leadership. We were looking for that leadership today, and we are so lucky to have them.”
Both offenses exploded in the first half and combined for 80 points.
Santa Rosa battled back after going down 21-0 early to cut the Brownsville St. Joseph lead to 42-38 going into halftime.
Rojas was dropping dimes, especially to receiver Julius Olmedo. The senior receiver caught three touchdowns in the first half, two from 36 yards and the other from 45 yards.
Rojas also found Riley Fonseca for a 28-yard score and Zach Chairez for an 8-yard touchdown. The Warriors and Rojas had to keep pace with the Bloodhounds and their quarterback, Gavin Cisneros.
Cisneros also was letting it rip in the first half.
The sophomore found Torres for a 71-yard score and an 8-yard touchdown, and Torres also found the end zone on a carry.
Cisneros also was dialed in with the Cristiano brothers. Andre Cristiano caught two touchdowns, the first a 10-yard catch and the second a 28-yard catch and score. Lucas Cristiano scored on a 32-yard snag.
Brownsville St. Joseph faces Brownsville Veterans Memorial at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Brownsville, and Santa Rosa takes on La Villa at 7:30 p.m. at Santa Rosa.