Five weeks into the high school football season in El Paso and we are starting to separate the contenders from the pretenders.

The non-district slate wraps up this week with some interesting matchups that should make for another exciting week of Football Friday Night.

  • Andress (3-1) at Austin (3-1) Sarah Farms Game of the Week Beau Bagley
  • Hanks (3-0) at Del Valle (1-3) Jaime Chavez
  • Chapin (0-4) at Franklin (4-0) Steve Escajeda
  • Bel Air (2-2) at Ysleta (3-1) Joe Rodriguez
  • Socorro (0-4) at Parkland (4-0) Jeremy Carranco
  • Coronado (1-3) at Canutillo (3-1) Adrian Broaddus
  • El Paso (0-4) at Bowie (2-1) Isaiah Ramirez
  • Jefferson (1-3) at Irvin (1-2) Jack Lutz
  • Cathedral (1-3) at Riverside (2-2) Joey Pincisi 
  • Eastwood (1-3) at Montwood (2-2) Brandon Cohn
  • El Dorado (0-4) at Americas (3-1)

 

Five Points for Football Friday Night:

Last night: Pebble Hills 49 - Eastlake 43 

Where do we start in this back-and-forth battle? For Pebble Hills head coach Mark Torres, the day started in the hospital as his wife gave birth to their daughter Jasmine Elise. By nighttime, Torres was out with his troops in time to coach for the non-district matchup that was for the ages.

Pebble Hills got off to a commanding 35-15 lead at the half, propelled by nice play from their senior quarterback Sebastian Ochoa and their high-flying offense.

But out of the half, Eastlake stormed back into the game, recovering an onside kick and out-scoring the Spartans 28-14 in the second half. Junior quarterback Orion Olivas, who finished with 459 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and a rushing score, had an opportunity late in the game to score a go-ahead touchdown following their second onside recovery of the night, but a stifling Spartans defense prevented the Falcons' chances on Thursday night.

The Spartans were led by Ochoa's 323 passing yards and six touchdowns, while their running back Kylar Sanchez had three total touchdowns (two rush, one receiving).

Biggest thing to look for: Is this finally the time for Austin to upend Andress?

 

An early edition of what could be the 1-5A district title game pins a fiesty Austin squad against a powerful Andress team. This game could be a ground-and-pound matchup that relies on the trenches to determine the outcome. Austin has their powerful running back and star linebacker in Will Rodriguez, while Andress features a plethora of weapons on offense in quarterback Jeremiah Tosky, wideout Jeremiah Cooper and running back Trevon Ware.

High school matchup watch: Hanks vs. Del Valle 

In high school football, I always like the "are we sure they are for real" games that really show a team's true colors. I think this will be an equal matchup for both squads leading into district play. Del Valle demolished an unbeaten Canutillo team last week, while Hanks has been rolling on offense. Knights wideout Mykal Blanco has a chance to break the city's all-time receiving record tonight but not if the Conquistadors defense can say something about it. If Hanks wins this one, they have all the momentum going into district play with a clean record. But if Del Valle holds down the fort at home, might be time to start thinking of this young Conquistadors team as a dark horse candidate in 5A.

Hot storyline: Canutillo vs. Coronado could be a must-win for both teams. 

A non-district battle on the west side pins Coronado against Canutillo for what could be an interesting matchup leading into district play. The Thunderbirds are coming off a heartbreaking 18-17 loss to Eastlake, while the Eagles were dismantled by Del Valle, 35-3, last week. This could be a game that could really help either team carry some more momentum going into the season.

Canutillo is dealing with an apparant injury to their star senior running back Carlos Amato, who has been out for back-to-back games. Amato averages 219 yards per game and has scored five rushing touchdowns in just two games this year. Without Amato, Canutillo will have to rely on their quarterback Caleb Rodriguez. Coronado, on the other hand, is led by their senior quarterback Ben Carney, passing for 801 yards and chipping in with seven touchdown passes.

Peep ahead to next week: Burges at Andress

Back-to-back huge games for Andress in 2-5A could mean another early district title matchup. Burges has fared well thus far into the season with their dual running back system in Robert Hall and Tavorus Jones. But the Golden Eagles have an exceptional run defense that could halt the Mustangs. Not too many other games in El Paso next week, as 1-6A and 1-5A will enter their bye weeks.