The #8 Canutillo Eagles went across town to take on the #7 Eastlake Falcons at the Socorro Activities Center. It was after all, Texas High School Football’s opening game here in El Paso, Texas. Fans were eager to get the game started. Canutillo however, was no where to be seen. Appparently they were stuck in traffic for over an hour, but show up they did!
Canutillo hastily went through pre-game workouts and got ready to take the field with their head coach Scott Brooks, who is starting his 21st season as head coach. On the opposite side of the field you had Eastlake, who appeared calm and ready to take on the challenge. Their first year head coach Ruben Rodriguez was not new to the team as he had been their Offensive Coordinator under Jay Calderon. This game would show if Eastlake was ready to take on Eastwood as a contender, or show that Canutillo had what it took to finally get passed Parkland in their divisional playoffs.
The game was riddled with penalties. It seemed every other play had a penalty attached. Both teams were very undisciplined and costly penalties played a part in the game. There was also weather on the horizon and both teams knew they had to get out to an early lead in case the game was cancelled.
Canutillo struck first with a 19 yard pass from Rodriguez to Uribe with 3:00 left in first. After that, Eastlake’s next possession ended in a punt. Carlos Amato received the punt and after a few side steps he saw open daylight and ran past all defenders for an 85 yard touchdown.
Eastlake answered on their next drive. With 6:50 left in the 2nd quarter, Olivas threw a 24 yard TD pass to Kirtley making it Canutillo 14, Eastlake 7. Canutillo sputtered on the next drive and gave the ball back to Eastlake. Olivas then threw a 33yd screen pass to Alvarez who scored a TD with 4:20 left in the 2nd. Field goal was blocked and Canutillo still had a 1 point lead Canutillo answered right back as Amato took the kickoff for 90 yards to the house with 3:35 left in 2nd quarter.
Eastlake continued to have difficulties moving the ball and could not get out of their own way and continued to commit penalties. They were driven back to their 10 yard line where they turned the ball over with a fumble. Canutillo then gave the ball to their workhorse Amato who carried it in for a 3 yd touchdown run. Canutillo and Eastlake both had successful drives and traded touchdowns. Rodriguez threw to his receiver Galaviz who he was trying to reach all night long. They connected for a 23yd touchdown. At this point the weather became a factor and the game was delayed.
There was a 35 minute lightning delay with 2:18 left in the 3rd Quarter. For a game to count, it had to be 3/4 complete, so both teams knew they were going to have to come out and finish the game and made good use of the time they had to plan accordingly.
Canutillo had a 21 point lead and they were content to let the clock run out, but Eastlake had other plans. They came out throwing the ball, something they had not done most of the first half.however they could not generate any points. One more TD pass for each team and the game ended Canutillo 41 to Eastlake 21. It was a hard fought battle at the SAC and the best team won.
Carlos Amato was given the Town Talk player of the game for being solely responsible for 80% of Canutillo’s offensive production and having over 220 total yards and 3 touchdowns.
Shawn Murphy Reporting