High School Football Season Finale Features Exciting District Slate
The final week of high school football features several showdowns across the city of El Paso with almost every game having playoff implications.
Follow 600 ESPN El Paso all evening for live scoring updates of all the scheduled games. Listen in on 600 ESPN El Paso to listen to the latest edition of Football Friday Night starting at 7 p.m. All of the photos following the game are provided by Prep 1.
In town standings:
|PEBBLE HILLS||5-1||0.833||228||115||6-3||0.667||308||202||4 W|
* Denotes district play.
|DEL VALLE||2-0||1.000||75||30||7-2||0.778||338||202||2 W|
|EL DORADO||0-2||0.000||30||81||3-6||0.333||230||297||3 L|
|BEL AIR||0-2||0.000||34||111||2-7||0.222||242||377||5 L|
* Denotes district play.
* Denotes district play.
|EL PASO||2-3||0.400||100||219||3-6||0.333||199||402||2 L|
Friday, November 5:
- Pebble Hills (5-1, 6-3) at Franklin (6-0, 7-2) Brandon Cohn
- Americas (3-3, 3-6) at Eastwood (5-4, 3-3) Steve Escajeda
- Del Valle (2-0, 8-1) at Chapin (2-0, 7-2) Alex Nicolas
- Canutillo (3-0, 8-1) at Horizon (5-4, 3-0) Jaime Chavez
- Hanks (0-3, 1-8) at Parkland (1-2, 2-7) Ray Adauto
- Jefferson (3-2, 6-3) at Andress (4-1, 7-2) Jeremy Carranco
- El Paso (2-3, 3-6) at Burges (4-1, 6-3) JD Sursley
- Bowie (1-4, 1-8) at Austin (4-1, 6-3) Joey Pennisi
- El Dorado (0-2, 3-6) at Bel Air (0-2, 2-7) Isaiah Ramirez
- Socorro (1-8, 0-6) at Coronado (1-8, 1-4)
- San Eli (1-8, 0-3) at Clint (4-5, 2-1)
- Fabens (2-7, 1-2) at Mt View (3-6, 1-2)
- Anthony (5-4, 2-1) at Alpine (3-6, 2-1)
Game of the Week: Pebble Hills vs. Franklin
The 1-6A title is on the line Friday when Pebble Hills travels to face Franklin in the district finale showdown. Since Eastlake beat Coronado 35-3 on Thursday, the Falcons are still in the mix for a share of the district too.
Franklin has won seven consecutive dating back to their first win of the year against Andress. Thanks to a blocked field goal return for a touchdown against Americas, the Cougars were able to maintain their perfect record with a 25-21 win last week. They are led by quarterback Cameron Byrd (2,346 passing yards, 27 TDs, 2 INT, 536 rushing yards) and running back Miles McWorter (189 carries for 1,098 yards and 15 TDs). Junior receiver Beau Sparks has also emerged this year with 61 receptions for 1,006 yards and 13 TDs.
On the other hand, the Spartans shrugged off a 1-2 start to the year by winning six of their last seven games. For head coach Mark Torres, the younger Pebble HIlls squad has matured in a significant way throughout district play. Sophomore Gael Ochoa leads them on offense with 1,364 passing yards, 11 passing TDs, 8 INT, 910 rushing yards and 17 rushing scores.
This could end up being a shootout on both sides since these squads like to throw up big scoring numbers. Plus, coach Torres returns to his old stomping grounds, where he served as an assistant coach under Daren Walker.
Prediction: Franklin 55 - Pebble Hills 49
Super 5A on the line: Del Valle at Chapin
Another showdown between two of the city's best. And yes, we have to include Chapin in the conversation for top teams in the area, especially if they upset Del Valle. The Huskies come into Friday's game on a six-game win streak, being the second-hottest team in town. Head coach Ryan Warner and the staff have done a great job turning this season around from the 1-2 start.
Chapin has a trio of weapons they rely on offensively and it starts with senior quarterback Mason Standerfer (2,371 passing yards, 38 TDs, 5 INT). His two receivers in Timothy Pastran (890 rec yards, 17 TDs) and Anthony Rivera (889 yards, 14 TDs) are flirting with 1,000 yards to end the season.
Del Valle is fresh off a 42-0 smackdown against Bel Air last week. The Conquistadores have managed to get significant wins under their belt, such as beating Pebble Hills and Americas in non-district play, while coasting through the short district schedule thus far. Head coach Rudy Contreras continues to show why he is a solid coach and can build a consistent winner. They are led by quarterback Jesse Ramos (1,602 passing yards, 17 TDs, 3 INTs, 14 rushing TDs) and paced on the ground by senior running back Kristian Martinez (1,006 rushing yards, 7 TDs). They have caused 16 sacks, 33 QB hurries and forced 17 turnovers on defense.
Prediction: Chapin 50 - Del Valle 49
Playoffs are on the line: Americas at Eastwood
Win and get in. That's the mentality for the Americas-Eastwood matchup that will take place on Friday. The two teams have developed a bit of a rivalry over the past years, which makes this game that much more enticing. Now we get to see Julio Lopez (Eastwood coach) battle Patrick Melton (Americas) in the district finale.
Eastwood has bounced back after losing four of five games in the middle of the season, including losses to Eastlake, Pebble Hills and Franklin. Nothing matters any more with this squad except their upcoming matchup against the Trailblazers. Senior quarterback Andrew Martinez (2,973 passing yards, 29 TDs, 10 INT, 9 rushing TDs) leads the Trooper offense that has plenty of weapons to use. They like to balance a ground game, led by Sam Lopez, and mix in receivers like Curtis Murillo, Aaron Rodriguez and Michael Caldera.
Americas has a legitimate argument that they should've beaten the district's best team in Franklin last week. After dropping their first four games to start the year, the Trailblazers found a resurgence during district play and reeled off three consecutive wins. They've underwent back-to-back losses to Pebble Hills and the Cougars going into Friday's game.
Americas is largely a younger squad too. Sophomore quarterback Mark Moore (1,350 passing yards, 13 TDs, 6 INTs, 820 rushing yards) has grown up this year and helped this squad along the way. Their running back Ce'sar Drennan has been dealing with an injury recently, but he has helped the Trailblazers immensely this year.
Prediction: Eastwood 42 - Americas 38
Can Horizon shock Canutillo for the district?
Don't count out the Horizon Scorpions. Head coach Paulo Melendez, a UTEP alum, has orchestrated an admirable close to the season for this feisty squad. Despite losing three of their first four games, Horizon closed out the season by winning four of their final five games. They have outscored their last three opponents (Parkland, Ysleta and Hanks) 144-49. Seniors Jacob Quijas (1,127 passing yards, 971 rushing, 26 TDs, 1 INT) and Ernie Garcia (1,463 rushing yards, 21 TDs) lead the Scorpions offense.
But are they ready to stand the test of Canutillo, who is a top-3 team in the city?
They are tied with the Cougars as the hottest team in the city, having won seven consecutive heading into Friday's game. They had a bye last week and enter Friday with an impressive 8-1 record. Canutillo's top junior running back LJ Martin (1,823 rushing yards, 20 TDs) has a chance to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark with a solid outing on Friday. The class of 2023 Division I prospect leads the city in rushing and Martin has put together an incredible junior campaign. Don't sleep on the stout Eagles defense, which has caused 14 interceptions, four forced fumbles and has caused nine sacks this year.
Prediction: Canutillo 49 - Horizon 31
Bonus: Playoff Outlook
Franklin becomes the sole title winner of 1-6A with a victory over Pebble HIlls on Friday. If Pebble Hills wins, there is a three-way shared possession of the title—Pebble Hills, Franklin and Eastlake in this scenario.
If Eastwood beats Americas on Friday, they get the fourth spot in the district and the second seed in 6A DII for the playoffs. If Americas wins, they grab the fourth spot in the district and second seed behind Franklin in 6A DI, leaving Pebble Hills and Eastlake in the 6A DII playoffs.
For Super 5A, Dell Valle/Chapin winner, who would also take sole possession of the district, will likely host Caprock in the first round of the playoffs. The loser would likely face Lubbock Coronado. El Dorado and Bel Air will likely face Amarillo and Tascosa, respectively, in the opening round of the playoffs.
The winner between Canutillo and Horizon will take 1-5A. If Jefferson loses to Andress on Friday, the winner of Canutillo-Horizon would likely face the Silver Foxes in the opening round of the 5A playoffs. Assuming Burges wins on Friday over El Paso, the Mustangs will likely face the loser of Canutillo-Horizon. If Parkland defeats Hanks on Friday night, they could be pinned against Austin. That would leave Andress facing Ysleta, barring any upsets like Hanks beating Parkland, or Jefferson topping Andress.
In 2-5A, if Andress beats Jefferson, the district will shape out to: (1) Andress, (2) Austin (3) Burges and (4) Jefferson. If the Silver Foxes upset the Eagles, Austin becomes the district title winners with Burges, Jefferson and Andress following them in the district standings, respectively. If Austin somehow loses to Bowie, it will be (1) Burges, (2) Andress, (3) Austin and (4) Jefferson.
Lastly, in 1-4A we know the top two seeds in Riverside and Clint, respectively. The winner of Fabens-Mountain View will play Big Spring in the first round of the playoff, while the loser will take the final seed and likely face Ft. Stockton. Riverside will most likely face Lake View, assuming they lose to Big Spring. That means Clint will probably face Andrews in the opening round if things stay the same.