Ibarra's skill leads Godinez past Rancho Alamitos


GARDEN GROVE – Bryan Ibarra scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, and Godinez earned its first win of the season, defeating Rancho Alamitos, 21-3, Thursday in a nonleague game at Bolsa Grande High.

Rancho Alamitos (2-2) had won the teams’ regular-season meetings the past two years. Second-year Grizzlies coach Michael Echaves is optimistic about his team’s direction.

“Slowly but surely, we’re grinding,” he said. “The guys are believing. We’re excited for the future. We’re excited about the trajectory of this team.”

A strong defensive effort helped Godinez (1-3). Richy Tochihuitl and Luis Manuel each had two sacks to keep the pressure on Vaqueros quarterback Blake Culbert (132 passing yards).

A defensive stop coupled with a 20-yard punt return by Patrick McMorris set Godinez up with good field position at the Rancho Alamitos 29.

Ibarra used his legs to gain two first downs before passing to Eddie Bravo to reach the Vaqueros 1. He punched it in on a quarterback sneak two plays later, giving Godinez a 7-0 lead with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Grizzlies’ 6-foot-2 senior quarterback made his second start of the season after serving a team-issued suspension during Godinez’s first two games.

Godinez led, 7-3, at halftime.

The defensive success continued for Godinez coming out of the break. Gerson Lopez and Gabriel Cisneros provided tight coverage to take away the deep threat.

Izak Verduzco scored on a 43-yard punt return in the third quarter, and Ibarra’s second rushing score sealed it in the fourth.

“Our defense kind of won us this game,” Ibarra said. “We just had to finish them by capitalizing with scores.

Miguel Rosales had 99 rushing yards, and Franky Gonzalez had two sacks for Rancho Alamitos.

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