High School Football is Back in El Paso: 5 Storylines for Week One
High school football is finally back!
Follow 600 ESPN El Paso all evening for live scoring updates of all the scheduled games. Paul MacKinnon is back with Beau Bagley as our hosts for the season and they will get things started at 5:30 tonight with a special pregame show ahead of Chihuahuas baseball. After the Chihuahuas game, we will have the recap edition of Football Friday Night.
- 600 ESPN El Paso Reporter Schedule
- Centennial (0-1) at Franklin Adrian Broaddus
- Chapin at Coronado Brandon Cohn
- Eastlake at Andress Steve Escajeda
- Parkland at El Dorado Ryan Vidales
- Del Valle at Burges Joe Rodriguez
- Riverside at Ysleta JD Sursely
- Bowie at Hanks Joey Pennisi
- Bel Air at Irvin Zay Galindo
- Ft Stockton at Austin Russ Bannister (6 pm)
Last night's recap: Pebble Hills 24 - Canutillo 21
In a back-and-forth season-opening thriller, Pebble Hills kicker Aaron Ortega—who missed his first two field goals of the contest—drilled a go-ahead 27-yard field goal that led to the 24-21 win over Canutillo.
UTEP commit and Spartans senior quarterback Gael Ochoa helped the home team get on the board with a pair of early rushing touchdowns. In the second quarter, Canutillo quarterback Jeremiah Knox hit running back Dante Aguilar for a 37-yard touchdown pass. The Spartans capped off the half with a rushing touchdown via running back Zereian Quarles to lead 21-7 at the break.
Momentum shifted Canutillo's way in the third quarter when they scored on a five-yard rushing touchdown by Knox to trim it to a one-score game, 21-14. With about five minutes left in the game, wide receiver Ethan Villa hauled in a deep pass that set up Knox's second rushing touchdown.
The two teams traded punts, including a key three-and-out stop by the Pebble Hills defense with under 20 seconds left. Ochoa hit Spartans wideout Marcus Torres on a 20-yard pass and set up the game-winning field goal.
Pebble Hills (1-0) will now face Del Valle next week on the road, while Canutillo (0-1) is set to host Coronado next Friday.
Other scores: Americas 44 - Las Cruces 19; Gadsden 21 - El Paso 14; Horizon 15 - Jefferson 0
The score that jumps off to me is Americas dominating Las Cruces High in game one under new head coach Noe Robles. The Trailblazers are going to be a nice surprise this year in 1-6A led by quarterback Mark Moore and a talented defense.
915 Tours Game of the Week: Las Cruces Centennial vs. Franklin
In last year's edition of this El Paso-Las Cruces series, Centennial dominated Franklin in a 49-21 win. Granted, the Hawks are not the same team as last year's impressive 9-2 finish. But last year's game is a prime reason this matchup on Friday is intriguing.
Centennial (0-1) dropped their season-opener last week to Rio Rancho Cleveland, 27-8. In the matchup quarterback Daniel Hernandez completed 13-of-31 passes for 114 yards and threw four interceptions. Defensively, they forced a pair of interceptions in the loss.
Franklin returns Division I prospect Shay Smith, who started every game at quarterback for them in 2022 and played linebacker in 2021. They have a balanced offensive attack and feature running back Jordan Morales. Wideouts Elias Rangel and Patrick Powers will be Smith's top targets this season.
Prediction: Franklin 28 - Centennial 14
Dark horse game of the night: Chapin vs. Coronado
In another rematch from 2022, Chapin is looking to get revenge on Coronado, which beat the Huskies in their season opener last year, 34-20. Coronado quarterback Owen Levesque threw a pair of touchdowns in the win, while ATH Blake Randag racked up three total touchdowns. Both of them are back in 2023 and expect to be integral parts of the Thunderbirds' success.
After a slow start to last year's season, Chapin threw freshman Daveon Singleton in as their quarterback for the final five games of the season. He went 3-2 in the regular season, throwing for 731 passing yards, along with 902 rushing yards and 14 total touchdowns. The now sophomore stud will lead the Huskies with the help of skill position players like Savion Jordan, Brent Hallman, Dylan Sims and Justin Yhisreal.
Prediction: Chapin 31 - Coronado 27
Out of town features thrilling slate
- Eastwood vs. Southlake Carroll
- Montwood vs. Midland High
Props to both Eastwood and Montwood for hitting the road and traveling out of town for their respective season openers. The Troopers will be tested by one of the best teams in Texas in Southlake Carroll. The Dragons feature standout quarterback Graham Knowles and a dynamic receiver Jacob Jordan. Trooper senior star quarterback Evan Minjarez is back to lead the squad this season, along with productive running back Max Mancilla.
New head coach Ivan Rangel is ready to lead Montwood in 2023 with a mix of skill position players and veteran talent on the roster. In a deep 1-6A, the Rams will need to fight against the top dogs in the district to try and earn playoff contention. They will rely on productivity from running back Izayuh Claudio, wideout Diego Oaxaca and cornerback Cameron Harrelson.
Prediction: Southlake 49 - Eastwood 40; Midland High 31 - Montwood 28
Key 6A vs. 5A matchups across town
- Parkland vs. El Dorado
- Eastlake at Andress
As part of the late game at the SAC on Friday, El Dorado will host Parkland ahead of their highly anticipated 2023 season. The Aztecs are one of the dark horse teams out of 1-6A featuring their stellar sophomore running back Ryan Estrada, who garnered several Division I offers after a strong freshman campaign. Parkland, on the other hand, is much younger than in years past under head coach Leigh McWhorter. They will hope their defense—led by linebackers Juan Gomez and Vicente Hernandez and cornerback Kaleb Martinez—can be stifling this season, while their offense develops throughout the season.
The second half to the season finish by Andress in 2022 was impressive, as they ended with a second-place finish and a playoff berth under head coach Chris Taylor. They have 17 starters returning this season and they will be strong in the trenches. For Eastlake, head coach Ruben Rodriguez will need to see his junior quarterback Luke Lomeli take the next step in his development. Lomeli started 10 games last year for the team and he will be backed by a veteran offensive line.
Predictions: El Dorado 31 - Parkland 17; Eastlake 24 - Andress 21