Photo by Ace Acosta/El Paso Herald Post
EL PASO, Texas – Pebble Hills quarterback Sebastian Ochoa threw five touchdown passes as the Spartans held on in a back-and-forth affair in where the Spartans nearly blew a three-score lead at halftime for the second straight week, but it was their defense who made big plays down the stretch of the game to pull out their third win of the season.
Ochoa threw four touchdowns in the opening half, leading the Spartans on five scoring drives on their first seven series of the opening half.
The Spartans led 35-15 at halftime as Ochoa hit Kylar Sanchez for a 19-yard touchdown pass on a well executed wheel-route with less than a minute left before halftime and the Spartans had all the momentum.
But Eastlake gunslinger Orion Olivas clawed his Falcons back into the game with a tremendous performance through the air.
Olivas tossed a pair of 21-yard touchdown passes on consecutive possessions, the first to Tony Rey, and the second to Daine Kirtley which cut the lead to 35-29 with 6:54 left in the third quarter.
The Spartans would answer via a 14-yard run by Sanchez, his second of the night, and the Spartans and Falcons would go back-and-forth again in the third quarter. Eastlake outscored Pebble Hills 21-7 in the third quarter to make this one a ball game again.
After a 3-yard run by Kirtley cut the score to 42-36 Pebble Hills with 2:07 to play, Ochoa threw a screen pass to Isaiah Davis who took it 56-yards to the house which pushed the lead to 49-36 Spartans with 7:10 left in the game.
Although the Falcons did not quit and even recovered an onside in the final minute of the game.
Olivas finished a short field drive with a one-yard touchdown run making it 49-43 Spartans with 1:03 to go. Eastlake would recover the ensuing onside attempt, and the Falcons had a shot at the win at their own 49-yard line and two timeouts left.
On a fourth down and short from the 46-yard line in Pebble Hills territory, the Spartans got enough pressure on Olivas to force incomplete pass which ended the game on downs with less than 40 seconds remaining.
Olivas finished the night with 456 yards passing and four touchdowns, Ochoa had 350 yards passing and six touchdowns. (all stats are unofficial)
Unofficially, we had Pebble Hills with 571 yards of total offense, while Eastlake finished with 517 yards. Eastlake hurt themselves with a few costly penalties, and really racked up the penalty yards in this wild game.
Kylar Sanchez finished the night with 124 rushing yards, running for two touchdowns, and caught a touchdown pass. The Spartans’ AJ Salazar caught seven passes for 149 yards, Jalen Partida added 87 yards receiving, and Davis ended the night with 83 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Pebble Hills improves to 3-2 on the season, while Eastlake drops to 1-4.