Published: December 3, 2012
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CATAÑO, Puerto Rico - The Chickenhawks begged for a game - and they got one Saturday.
The result was not what they expected. The Charlotte Amalie High School tackle football team was dealt its first loss of the season against the University Gardens Dolphins.
The host team, made up of players from 10 Puerto Rico high schools, turned three CAHS turnovers into touchdowns en route to a 20-6 win at Complejo Deportivo Luis Osvaldo Reyes on Saturday.
CAHS Francisco Jarvis said, "I'm really, really proud of our performance.
"It was a good experience and my kids just need to learn to play under adversity. They didn't do well today in that category, arguing a little bit too much, internal squabbling," Jarvis said.
CAHS (6-1) will try to rebound against St. Croix Educational Complex for a seventh-straight territorial championship on Saturday at Complex Field.
The Dolphins scored first when Jaydell Torres returned an interception 12 yards for a touchdown with 4:45 remaining in the second quarter. CAHS was pinned on its own 2-yard line after the Dolphins got a favorable roll on a punt. Senior quarterback Elisha Arnold ran for an 8-yard gain to give the Chickenhawks breathing room, but he missed senior receiver Von Webster on a throw two plays later. Torres was ready and scored untouched. University Gardens missed the extra point.
"That's the best team I've faced in high school," Arnold said. "It was a good game. I mean, we played from the back and actually got a run for our money, for a change. It was pretty exciting."
Neither team was able to sustain offensive momentum for more than a series, but the Chickenhawks put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive to tie the game with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
CAHS junior running back Kyle Edwards kept the drive alive when he took a direct snap on a fake punt and rushed for 44 yards. Arnold finished the march with a 3-yard touchdown run.
"Kyle was gashing them, so you know, I knew at some point they were going to break down and we were there, but that fumble is what turned everything around," Jarvis said.
The CAHS front four stuffed the Dolphins running game for two consecutive possessions, but senior center Jose Nieves and Arnold mishandled a snap in their own territory. The Dolphins recovered the fumble, took advantage of the short field, and quarterback Cristian Vazquez fooled the Chickenhawks on a 9-yard bootleg for the go-ahead score.
"Their ends kept on crashing," University Gardens coach Oscar Gutierrez said. "They were very aggressive all game long, which is good and maybe one time bad and that time, the play paid off. We knew we had that."
CAHS was left with 2:30 to tie the game after Vazquez made the score 14-6 with a pass to Kevin Hernandez for the 2-point conversion.
Arnold was picked off again on the next possession, and Jan Perez went 45 yards up the right sideline for the insurance touchdown.
"It was a miscommunication with the receiver," Arnold said. "He was supposed to do one thing. I guess he made a mistake or did not understand. He ran a different route, he ran the wrong route. I threw to the route that was expected."
Arnold finished 7-for-15 with a game-high 107 passing yards. Edwards carried the ball 23 times for a game-high 94 yards. Webster finished with four catches for a game-high 111 yards.
The game was the first meeting since 2004 between programs from each territory. Both coaches are interested in playing next year on St. Thomas.
"Definitely, definitely, we need to play against this type of competition, so our kids can get better too," Jarvis said. "We don't get any better beating up on Kean and Complex. We don't get any better. This game, we got better too. As a team, we got better and I'm proud."
for two arm bar submission attempts.
Charlton did not appear bothered by Rivera's punches early in the third round, but was taken down and into Rivera's half guard early in the third round. The fighters got back to their feet and Charlton was backed against the cage before Rivera's right kick connected and crumpled the fan favorite.
"I was seeing he was all tired, so the only chance I had to win was with a kick," Rivera said. "I wasn't going to have a lot of points 'cause he was on top of me a lot time, giving him a lot of points, so I said to myself, 'I gotta push harder. I gotta knock him out.'"
Charlton, who trained for three weeks at a professional gym in San Diego, said all of his experience sparring could not simulate the level of emotion when he finally got in the cage.
"Right out of the gate, you know, anxiety, my heart was probably going 160 beats a minute," Charlton said. "I didn't get that sparring. I didn't get that. It's just like real exciting. It's almost like skydiving or something and I just didn't have enough. I burnt through it real fast."
Charlton was originally slated to fight Puerto Rican Lino Olivo, who was not cleared to fight by a doctor because of a shoulder injury suffered in training. Rivera was added to the card a week before the fight.
St. Thomas airplane mechanic and bartender Justin Canfield, 33, was confused when his fight ended early in the second after he fell backward following a high knee from Puerto Rican fighter Jose Ordeix, 21.
Ordeix was awarded the TKO by referee Thomas Sconzo, who did not allow Canfield an opportunity to defend a first strike once he hit the mat. Canfield did not appear to be hit in the head with the knee.
"He caught my glove," Canfield said. "I went down, but at no point was I dazed. I'm not taking anything away from him, he can fight.
"I went to the ground and I thought, I slipped, I hit the ground and my thought was, 'All right, well I'm OK with this.' I went down preparing to up kick if he came in and it was over. I thought it was a premature stoppage, but I also understand it's an amateur fight and they do a good job trying to keep everybody from getting hurt."
Ordeix escaped the first round where he was on his back for much of the three minutes. Canfield threw lefts to the ribs and brought constant knees to Ordeix's tailbone before the fighters were ordered to their feet. Ordeix connected on a kick to the hip and a pair of knees to the body before the bell and stayed on the offensive to start the second round.
"He was fatiguing, so I started doing my clinch, which I know he was gonna be out of air," Ordeix said. "Then I started striking as soon as I could 'cause I know he didn't have much, so I saw the opportunity and went for the knockout."
Ordeix was added to the card late in the week when Canfield's original opponent DeNez Jones, 38, was unable to fight due to a personal matter, according to Paradise Fighting Championships president Rigoberto Rodriguez.
"You go from being taller, heavier and younger and four days later you're shorter, lighter and older as the fighter changed on me," Canfield said. "Everything that I trained for was a different fight than I ended up in."