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Austin Wins The 81st “Battle For The Claw” In Overtime

El Paso High vs. Austin on 11/9/12. (photo by Brandon Cohn)

The 81st installment of the “Battle for the Claw” is an annual event that should not be missed.  It is the oldest rivalry in El Paso, and one of the oldest rivalries in Texas. The Panthers and Tigers have played every year since 1930, with the exception of Friday November 22, 1963; the day that President Kennedy was assassinated.

The latest edition to the storied contest between these two 1-4A foes did not dissapoint, as Austin defeated El Paso High 42-35 in overtime. The first half was electric as both teams scored at will on virtually every possession.

Both teams displayed their exceptional ground game, utilized a little trickery with half back passes, and went into the locker room at halftime tied at 21-21.  Austin and El Paso High came out poised in the second half by scoring on their first possession of the 3rd quarter.

Tied at 28-28, Austin looked to win the game as time was about to expire, but running back Myles Douglas fumbled the ball with just :07 seconds remaining in regulation. The Panthers were in field goal range, but had to settle for overtime.

El Paso High’s Tiger. (photo by Bill Kolbin)

In the overtime session, Austin running back Myles Douglas redeemed himself by scoring the go ahead touchdown on a 10 yard run.  El Paso High’s quarterback/running back/wide receiver Bryant Wolf tried to get a first down on a 4th and 2 run but was stopped on a shoe-string tackle by Linebacker Jonathan Mata, ending the game, and a 2 year losing streak for the Panthers in the rivalry.

The game was quite simply exceptional, and even though there was no playoff spots on the line, pride proved to help make it a classic game between these two teams.  For Austin, they finished their season at 5-5, 3-4 in District 1-4A.  Their quarterback Jacob Sanchez had 2 rushing TD’s, while running back Myles Douglas had the game of his life, with 3 rushing TD’s, including the game winning score in overtime.

For El Paso High, they finish their 2012 season at 3-7, 2-5 in District 1-4A.  Their quarterback Jesus Escobedo had 2 rushing TD’s, and their other quarterback Bryant Wolf had 172 rushing yards, and 3 rushing touchdowns.

It was a fitting end to the regular season for these two teams, after all, there is no better way to end another season of high school football than with an overtime thriller in  the “the battle for the claw” at historic Jones Stadium.


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