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Bobcats roll on homecoming to give Rieken his 1st win

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  • Bobcats roll on homecoming to give Rieken his 1st win
    Comfort running back Gio Lopez (10) carries it in for a first-half touchdown for Comfort against Brackett Friday. Star photo by Jeff B. Flinn

For Comfort to avoid going 0-4 to start the season, Coach Jay Rieken understood his squad needed to play a physical brand of football against Brackett.

Physical football was the name of the game for the Bobcats in their 55-15 victory over the Tigers Friday at Bobcat Stadium.

Comfort’s running game carried them to their first victory of the season, with running back Topper Sterling leading the way with 301 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Fellow running backs Gio Lopez, Jared Valadez and Evan Valadez, plus wide receiver Israel Lopez, punched in running scores for the Bobcats.

Sterling scored two times each in the second and third quarters on runs of 55, 67, 38 and 35, respectively.

“We have some guys who are going to maul you if they can get their hands on you,” Rieken said after the win. “We are going to run the ball, that’s what I preach every day. We are going to try to be the most physical team on the field.”

Comfort’s defense made sure to bring their own physical style of football, as Lopez, who also plays defensive back, forced three interceptions in the second quarter. His first two interceptions paved the way for Sterling’s first two touchdowns.

The Bobcats took a 27-2 lead into halftime.

Comfort extended their lead to 48-2 in the third quarter following scores from Sterling and Valadez.

Despite carrying a huge scoring deficit, Brackett did not roll over for the Bobcats. Abel Aguirre scored two straight touchdowns for the Tigers to cut the deficit to 33.

Aguirre’s first score came on a 48-yard run following a Bobcats facemask penalty. His second score came on a 27-yard keeper.

Despite allowing 15 points, Rieken credited his defense for playing “lights out.”

“Hats off to Coach Gary Alford (defensive coordinator) for a fantastic job all week of getting our kids prepared and putting them in the right place to be successful,” said Rieken, who recorded his first victory as Comfort’s head coach.