GRIDIRON GREATS: Eight standout performers in a good week for local teams

For those preoccupied this past weekend with travel, barbecues and Labor Day sales, not to mention the surprising news that Central Union High School’s next game will be played in Texas, it was actually a pretty solid week on the gridiron for our local teams.

Of the six teams in action Thursday and Friday (Brawley and Southwest had byes), four won, and of the two that lost, one of them, Holtville, was playing Imperial. So there was no way the outcome of that game was going to please everybody.

Naturally, the week’s successes were born of a number of notable performances. Week Two’s Gridiron Greats poll highlights eight of them. Once again, we invite readers to review our selections and vote online for the latest winner.

Winners may be chosen only once over the course of the season. They’ll appear on the ballot again only at the end of the season, when we’ll ask readers to select the Gridiron Great of the Year.

Cast your votes at

This week’s winner will be announced in Friday’s edition of the Imperial Valley Press.

Joey Ramos, Imperial High School

The senior wide receiver grabbed eight passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 28-0 rivalry win over Holtville. He also added 89 yards on punt returns, for good measure.

Ethan Ramos, Imperial High School

The surname Ramos was all over the box score for the Tigers Friday night. In this case, Ethan Ramos, a junior linebacker, was marking up the defensive side of the ledger with nine tackles, including three for losses, and a 30-yard interception against Holtville.

Jordan Reed, Imperial High School

Reed, a junior quarterback, took over as field general for Imperial in the second half, stepping in for Joaquin Alvarado. He helped the Tigers score their last 22 points against Holtville by completing 10 of 16 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, against one interception. He also found the end zone on the ground with a rushing TD.

Angel Nava-Esparza, Central Union High School

Central was so dominant in its 42-0 win over Kofa Friday night that Nava-Esparza, a senior linebacker and running back was put on ice after the 5-minute mark in the second quarter. But that was only after he put up five tackles, blocked a punt, recovered a fumble and scored two touchdowns.

Jose Berlin-Torres, Central Union High School

The senior kicker buried seven kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks, ensuring Kofa never could start a drive with favorable field position. Berlin-Torres also punted twice for an average of 45.5 yards.

Hernan Olivas, Vincent Memorial High School

The senior quarterback threw for five touchdowns in the Scots’ 48-7 blowout victory over Southwest San Diego Friday night.

Chris Gonzalez, Calexico High School

The senior fullback and linebacker had two crucial interceptions to end Instituto Salvatierra drives and help preserve the Bulldogs’ first home win since 2017. Gonzalez also was critical to helping Calexico move the chains and limit Salvatierra’s possessions in the 14-7 victory.

Jorge Burgos, Calexico High School

The senior was the Bulldogs’ most effective runner in the second half against Instituto Salvatierra, scoring the first of their two touchdowns, despite battling through hamstring issues.

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