Photo by Ace Acosta/El Paso Herald Post
MIDLAND, Texas – The Arlington High Colts outscored Americas 17-0 in the second half, forcing three turnovers on downs on the Trailblazers four second half drives, to move onto the regional semifinal in the Class 6A DII UIL Texas State Playoffs.
The win for the Colts sets them up with a date with Denton Guyer in the third round.
Arlington jumped out to an early 17-0 lead after a pair of rushing touchdowns by junior running back BJ Rogers, then a 34-yard field goal by Cooper Hicks stretched the lead with 1:40 left in the first quarter.
Rogers ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon.
In the second quarter, the Americas defense settled in and gave the offense some momentum. The Blazers would stop the last two drives of the first half, leading to a pair of touchdown drives for the Blazer offense.
Mike Nowell would hook up with Michael Cordova for 52-yard touchdown to get Americas on the board, then Aaron Dumas ran in a touchdown from 6-yards out and the game went into halftime with Arlington leading 17-14.
Although Arlington made some key defensive adjustments, and a big play connection between Arlington quarterback Kris Simms and Charles Brown put some separation on the scoreboard.
Simms and Brown would hook up on a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter. A 36-yard connection made it 24-14 with 10:10 left in the third quarter, then the duo ended the third quarter with a 56-yard connection for a score to make it 31-14 Arlington heading into the fourth quarter.
The speed and length of the Colt defense forced Americas Mike Nowell into a rough passing game, Nowell went 3-for-13 for just 58 yards, and Hicks hit a 40-yard field goal with 7:55 left in the fourth quarter to put this one away.
Simms finished the afternoon 14-for-21 passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Brown caught seven catches for 162 yards and two scores. Brown took the first play of the game 49 yards on a reception to set up the Colts first score.
Aaron Dumas went over 3,000 yards rushing on the season, making him the first El Paso player to rush for 3,000 yards in a single season. The junior ran for 200 yards on 28 carries, and the six-yard touchdown run which trimmed the lead in the first half and made things close.
In the end, five pre snap mistakes from Americas, plus a great defense effort from Arlington ended up being a major difference on the scoreboard.
Arlington out gained Americas 480-290, and sacked Nowell five times. Americas piled up 3.0 sacks but allowed 8.7 yards per play.
Americas season ends and 10-2 overall.