Football Friday Night is back for another week with Beau Bagley and Paul MacKinnon calling the action starting at 7 with all of our reporters scattered across town to report on the games. We're already at week 10 in the high school football season across the city.

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Full Standings

Canutillo3-01.000106206-20.7502191084 W
Chapin2-10.66792413-50.3752041761 L
El Paso2-10.66755585-30.6251932002 W
Andress2-10.66796623-50.3751672571 W
Burges0-30.00023982-60.250942633 L
Jefferson0-30.000291223-50.3751192464 L
Riverside3-01.000127268-10.8893921853 W
Bowie2-01.00059354-40.5001921953 W
Austin1-10.50055413-50.3751651711 L
Irvin0-20.00028701-70.1251583432 L
San Elizario0-30.000271242-70.2221612513 L

Here are five things to know for this week:

Last night: Pebble Hills 38 - Eastlake 14

In the most impressive fashion, Pebble Hills ran away with the 1-6A district title by dominating Eastlake, 38-14, on Thursday at the Student Activities Complex. The Spartans' 9-1 overall record, including a 7-1 stint in district play, is the best finish to a season for head coach Mark Torres and the program.

With last week's 34-14 smackdown against Franklin, Pebble Hills beat the top teams in the district by a combined score of 72-28 in consecutive weeks. They are undoubtedly the best team in the city and they did a lot this year to earn that title.

Eastlake kept things closer in the first half, trailing 14-7 at the break. To start the third quarter, the Spartans forced a turnover on the kickoff and scored on a touchdown pass from junior standout quarterback Gael Ochoa to wide receiver Marcus Torres. Thanks to another late turnover by the Pebble Hills defense, the Spartans were able to build on their lead and went up by as much as 38-7 before the Falcons scored again—when things were already out of reach.

CEZZ | Photo Courtesy of Prep 1
CEZZ | Photo Courtesy of Prep 1
Game of the Week: Eastwood at Franklin 

In a battle for playoff position and postseason berth, Franklin is hosting Eastwood, which could be another high-intensity 1-6A thriller.

Eastwood (6-2, 5-1) still has a shot at a share of its second 6A title in three years, but things have to break right for them. They have to essentially win out at Franklin and next week against Eastlake. Regardless, their game next week against the Falcons will determine the final seeding in the Division II 6A playoff bracket.

Franklin (5-3, 4-2) needs to win Friday in order to clinch their playoff berth. If they win, they will be the second seed in Division I 6A, meaning they could possibly travel to Midland Grande Communications stadium for Midland Legacy or Odessa Permian. If they lose, Franklin has to beat El Dorado to qualify for the playoffs, with Americas (4-5, 4-3) lurking.

The Cougars are coming off a beatdown loss to Pebble Hills (34-14) last Thursday. Franklin has proven this year that they can bounce back favorably following a loss, but Eastwood will be a challenge. They go as their stellar junior quarterback Shay Smith goes. Last week at Pebble Hills, Smith totaled three interceptions, the most he's had in a single game. But he's been sharp all season long, throwing for 2,051 yards, racking up 609 rushing yards and scoring 30 total touchdowns.

When you think of Trooper football, one might think of the spread-out, four/five wide, air raid offense that head coach Julio Lopez is notorious for using. However, Lopez has his offense settling into a nice running scheme that is tough to beat. They are averaging about 200 rushing yards as a team per game, recently coming off a 380-yard rushing performance in their 43-17 win against Montwood. In their only two losses of the season, they rushed for less than 200 yards. Junior quarterback Evan Minjarez leads them with 630 rushing yards, along with the running back duo of Max Mancilla (402 rushing yards, 4 TDs) and Jake Chenausky (317 yards, 2 TDs).

Plus, this matchup features the two top senior receivers not named DJ Crest. Eastwood's Curtis Murillo and Franklin's Beau Sparks—two standout players that couldn't be more opposite in their styles. Murillo (833 yards, 10 TDs) can get downfield and uses his size and strength to his advantage in the passing game. Sparks (1,016 yards, 16 TDs) is the El Paso version of Cooper Kupp, as one of the best route runners you'll find, can catch anything that comes his way and is tough as nails.

Prediction: Franklin 56 - Eastwood 55 

Photo Courtesy of Prep 1
Photo Courtesy of Prep 1

Dark horse game of the night: Chapin at El Paso  

What a great game out of 5A here, featuring two teams in the driver's seat to reach the playoffs.

El Paso High (5-3, 2-1) is coming off back-to-back wins against Jefferson (21-15) and Burges (27-16). They returned senior quarterback Gerry Chairez from injury over their last two wins and the quarterback has been sharp. He threw for 232 passing yards and two touchdowns against Jefferson and went 11-for-16 with 178 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against Burges. They also received senior Lueranze Johnson back from injury, who put up 161 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Mustangs last week. Things are coming together at the right time for the Tigers, who look to be playoff bound this year. Credit head coach Ray Aguilar Jr. for the turnaround.

Speaking of crediting coaches, I'm going to continue to sing the praises of Chapin head coach Ryan Warner for finding freshman Davion Singleton midseason, plugging him in as the starter and trusting the young buck to lead the offense. Also give credit to Huskies quarterbacks coach Trevor Vittatoe, the former UTEP quarterback legend, for developing Singelton in a short time. Last week, I watched the class of 2026 prospect for the first time against a stifling Canutillo defense and, despite the 26-0 shutout loss, I left the game beyond impressed with Singleton. He can already go through reads as a quarterback, he's comfortable in the pocket, he's best when he's scrambling outside the pocket, he can improvise on the run... I can go on and on. If he stays here all four years, Singelton is going to be the next best prospect to come out of the city. He has amassed 517 passing yards, 407 rushing yards and scored 14 touchdowns (zero interceptions) in four stints at quarterback.

I can't wait to follow this game from afar. And it could go either way.

Prediction: Chapin 24 - El Paso 20 

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