Austin Wins the 89th Battle of the Claw
On an evening with true football weather, a chill was in the air for the oldest rivalry in the city of El Paso as the Austin Panthers retained bragging rights by winning the 89th "Battle of the Claw" 40-6 over El Paso High. The stage was set at R.E. McKee Stadium as an enthusiastic crowd witnessed a game that was designated as a top 100 contest in the nationwide 2019 Great American Rivalry Series.
The Panthers led the overall series 53-32-2, but had lost 7 of the last 9 games. Austin took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter when running back Isiah Witterstauter scored on a 19-yard touchdown as time was winding down in the opening frame. The Panthers took a 13-0 lead when QB Danny Orozco found WR/QB Cesar Mireles for a stunning 37-yard touchdown at the 8:20 mark of the second quarter.
Austin took a 20-6 lead into halftime as Will "Da Beast" Rodriguez put the exclamation mark on an impressive half of football with a 3-yard touchdown run. In the second half of the game it was the Isiah Witterstauter show as he went on to score two more touchdowns en route to a performance for the books as he finished with 286 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns.
Will Rodriguez had 10 carries for 108 yards and one touchdown and Sergio Esparza out the cherry on top with a 1-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter. The Panthers improve to 5-2, 2-1 in District 2-5A and will play at Bowie next Friday, while El Paso High is winless at 0-7, 0-3 in 2-5A and will host Burges next week.