Football Friday Night: Five Points Before Week Four Kickoff
High school football is in full swing and week four features fewer games than we are used to, due to the bye week for many teams. However, as non-district play wraps up and district play looms ahead, games start to become a little more relevant for everyone.
Follow 600 ESPN El Paso all evening for live scoring updates of all the scheduled games. Listen in to our alternate stream—600 ESPN 2—to listen to the newest edition of Football Friday Night, hosted by Beau Bagley and Paul MacKinnon. All of the photos following the game are provided by Prep 1.
Standings in El Paso
|PEBBLE HILLS||1-2||0.333||80||87||1 W|
|DEL VALLE||3-0||1.000||121||74||3 W|
|BEL AIR||1-2||0.333||73||95||2 L|
|EL DORADO||0-3||0.000||51||106||3 L|
|EL PASO||0-3||0.000||61||148||3 L|
|MOUNTAIN VIEW||2-1||0.667||102||55||2 W|
|SAN ELIZARIO||0-3||0.000||14||136||3 L|
Here are Five Points before kickoff
Game of the Week: Del Valle (3-0) vs. Canutillo (2-1)
Grab your popcorn and get ready for this showdown.
Del Valle is riding all the momentum to start off their 2021 campaign, including three consecutive wins against 1-6A foes—Coronado (27-7), Pebble Hills (45-31) and Americas (49-36). Running back Kristian Martinez leads their group with 484 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Jesse Ramos has grown into his own, totaling 413 passing yards and 10 total touchdowns.
Canutillo wants to prove that they are up to any test and they will get a great challenge against the Conquistadores. Despite a loss to Eastlake (37-14), there's no doubt the Eagles possess a ton of talent and are among the top teams in 5A. Quarterback Devin Granados has eight total passing touchdowns. Their top player in running back LJ Martin has been great, as he has rushed for 449 and five total touchdowns this year. The junior tailback recently garnered an offer from Kansas State. Martin now has offers from the likes of Baylor, UTEP, UTSA and UNLV.
Huge Test for the Unbeaten Silver Foxes: Ysleta (2-1) vs. Jefferson (3-0)
How about head coach Tony Martinez and the undefeated Jefferson Silver Foxes? First, they knocked off Alpine on the road, 44-27. Then, they had back-to-back wins against San Elizario (47-7) and Bel Air (33-14), respectively. Senior quarterback Nathan Alcala has been terrific for this team (587 passing yards, 14 touchdowns), while tailback Miguel Rubio (343 rushing yards, four touchdowns) paces the ground game nicely for them.
Ysleta hung in with Riverside for a good half last week (52-27). They started the season with a pair of wins against Clovis (34-33) and Socorro (35-34). The Indians like to air it out with their senior quarterback Damian Contreras (814 passing yards, 10 touchdowns).
This will be a great test before both teams get district play started. If Jefferson wins this week, they could have all the momentum heading into next week's key district game against Burges.
Rangers Quest for 4-Straight: Riverside (3-0) vs. Horizon (1-2)
Riverside stormed through the likes of Ysleta last week with the help of their tailback Jose Guardado (111 yards, three total touchdowns) and quarterback Angel Munoz (135 passing yards, three touchdowns). Head coach Gary Recoder has done a great job with this squad.
Horizon had a hard-fought loss to Fort Stockton last week (40-34) after beating Bowie (55-20) the week before.
Looking ahead, the Rangers have a key non-district road game next week against Monahans, followed by a home game against Alpine. If Riverside is 6-0 after Oct. 1, this team has a chance for a perfect record this season. (Let this not be a jinx for coach Recoder's sake).
1-6A gets a bye week before district play
Take a breather, 1-6A. The gauntlet that lies ahead will be a major test for everyone in the district. As Alex Nicholas and I spoke about on the Football Friday Night podcast, the playoff picture could look something like this:
So what does this mean?
First off, Eastlake being atop this list is a credit to how dominant they've started under head coach Ruben Rodriguez. Eastwood is not far behind them. In fact, when it's all said and done, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see head coach Julio Lopez, senior quarterback Andrew Martinez and the Troopers score this district title. Montwood is a sneaky dark horse pick. If Franklin's offense can continue from the Andress win last week, they'll be a hard team to beat.
Americas and Pebble Hills—both younger programs—could knock off these teams in a sleeper contest. The Trailblazers and Spartans don't want to miss out on this playoff race and they'll try to fight for a spot too.
Look ahead: Burges vs. Jefferson
If the Silver Foxes are unbeaten heading into this game against Burges, they have a chance to stamp their name as a district title contender. Andress might have something to say about that. So might Tavorus Jones and the Burges Mustangs (1-2), who want to get back on track after dropping two of their first three games.
This should be a great Thursday night district opener.
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