VAIL — No. 9 Buena football’s 4-game losing streak was snapped Friday night at the hands of the No. 13 Cienega Bobcats. The Bobcats defeated the Colts 26-19 on their home field.
Buena was first to score as a 5-yard run by Tory Walters into the end zone broke the scoreless tie roughly four minutes into the game. The Colts missed the point after attempt but held a 6-0 lead. Cienega responded with a rushing touchdown of their own on their next drive. Gabe Levy’s 5-yard run tied the game 6-6 and the made point after attempt by Juliano Ries gave the Bobcats a one point advantage, 7-6, with roughly five minutes to play in the first quarter.
Buena didn’t back down as senior quarterback Jovani Bourbon connected with sophomore Keyon Taylor for a 25-yard score through the air. Taylor led Buena with 100 receiving yards in the loss. Cole Muller’s extra point was good and Buena regained the lead 13-7 with roughly two minutes left in the first frame. Their lead didn’t last long as a minute later Ryan Swoger scored a 69-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game. Another made extra point gave the home team a 14-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Touchdowns were hard to come by in the middle two frames as both defenses figured each other out. Cienega scored the only points of the second and third quarters. They came on a 42-yard field goal and a 33-yard field goal by Reis in the second quarter. The Bobcats led 20-13 at halftime and the score remained there through the third quarter.
Defensively, Justice Grant, Santantoniano Smith and Will Stemler led the Colts with eight tackles each. Borbon and Avina added six more tackles each for their team.
Buena’s offense broke their silence early in the fourth quarter when Borbon found Jesse Avina for a 13-yard touchdown.
Another missed point after attempt by the Colts put the score at 20-19 with roughly 11 minutes to go.
Borbon ended the night with 12 completed passes on 23 attempts for 193 yards and led the Colts in rushing yards as well.
Five minutes later the Bobcats turned their one-point lead to seven on a 12-yard rushing touchdown by Swoger. Cienega would miss the point after attempt but the 26-19 score would hold as the Colts turned the ball over on downs at the Bobcats 39-yard line with under a minute to play.
“We had a good game plan. We were prepared,” Buena head coach Joe Thomas said. “I thought we played well but we just didn’t make enough consistent plays to win the game. We will bounce back and prepare to win against Nogales next week.”
The loss puts the Colts at 5-2 overall and 1-1 in region games. Cienega is now also 5-2 overall and 2-0 against region opponents.