In football, when you look at young players who breakout one game, the question is, "Can they do it again?"

Here are some underclassmen who have gotten off to hot starts and are starting to attract some attention across the state.

Tyreese Andrus, Jr, WR, Montwood

Andrus got his feet wet as a sophomore last season with 13 catches, but has made the claim of the city’s top wide receiver in just two weeks this season. Coming off an eight catch, 120-yard effort in week one, Andrus gave Midland High problems all night in week two. Andrus hauled in 10 catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns against Midland. If Andrus continues this pace, his mailbox will start to fill up with letters from FBS coaches across the region, and maybe the nation.

Andrew Fernandez, Jr, QB, Montwood

With Andrus and quarterback Andrew Fernandez, Montwood will have a lethal air force tandem for the next two seasons. Fernandez was impressive in keeping drives alive with nice downfield strikes, and extended plays with his legs against Midland on Friday. He threw for over 350 yards, and three touchdowns, and escaped pressure all night with keen pocket presence, and very good athletic ability. He showed some inexperience late in the game with the Rams down two scores, but no denying the potential and talent Fernandez has.

Deon Hankins, Sophomore, RB, Parkland

El Paso’s next highly recruited stud has started off 2016 with back-to-back 200-yard rushing games. Hankins broke out in the middle of last season for Parkland as an effective freshman, but has gotten off to an even stronger start in 2016. He’s one of those specials backs who can do it all, and will certainly become a hot recruiting commodity sooner than later. He’s not only a runner, he also had 97-yards receiving against Socorro. UTEP, NMSU, and Incarnate Word (FCS) have already contacted the Parkland coaching staff about the talented sophomore, and expect more interest and eventual offers to come his way.

Seth Ochoa, Jr, QB, Eastwood

Ochoa had the tall task in replacing Mark Torrez who now plays at UTEP, and also lit up the city the past two seasons under coach Julio Lopez who employs one of the most diverse offensive systems in the city. But the Texas Tech baseball commit has been District MVP worthy through two games. He went 20-of-31 for 237-yards and three touchdowns in his varsity debut, and followed that up by hanging 50 points on the board in a 50-20 thrashing of Bel Air on Friday. Eastwood’s offense demands high level quarterback play which takes their system to a whole another level of production. The dual-threat quarterback also ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener, and could start attracting college attention on the football side.

Kevin Avaratte, Jr, RB, Pebble Hills

Avaratte broke onto the scene last week running for 105-yards in Pebble Hills’ varsity debut against Irvin. This week the talented athlete a 95-yard kickoff to the house for a score against Andress, and has 148 yards rushing and three total touchdowns through the first two games of the season. The 6’1, 180 pound back has D-1 size, and showed off his speed on the kickoff return on Friday, and can also catch out of the backfield. If Pebble Hills finds themselves in the 1-6A playoff race, Avaratte will be a main reason.


6A Teams Struggle

Franklin got torched by Permian 61-0, El Dorado couldn’t stop Frenship and Garrison Johnson, and Americas was the surprise as Rio Rancho easily handled the Blazers 31-7 on the road, and Montwood couldn’t overcome mistakes and fell to Midland High.

It’s still early in the season, and teams are still finding their niches’ on both sides of the ball all while facing some very tough competition.

It’s starting to look like once again 1-6A will be a tight race, and no one will be safe once an expected competitive district schedule starts in a few weeks.

Andress battles through adversity for key win

Two ambulance delays, numerous injuries, but the Andress Eagles prevailed past Pebble Hills 35-27 on Friday. Starting quarterback Will Ferlot had an MRI on a leg injury sustained in week one and did not play on Friday. But sophomore Dominque Williams stepped in and threw for 150 yards, and ran for another 66 yards to give Andress steady quarterback play from a sophomore. Running back Ennis Thompson went down with an injury, but in-stepped D-1 prospect Otho Redding who is a wide receiver and safety, but he ran for 147 yards on 10 carries. Andress’ depth has been tested early, and the Eagles coaching staff has adjusted through adversity for a 2-0 start on the season.

Game Balls

  • Tyreese Andrus, Montwood: 10 catches 225 yards, 3 TD’s
  • Cauntillo’s defense