Week Four El Paso High School Football Preview and Predictions

Photo by Johnny Tegg

Thursday, September 18th

Odessa High Bronchos (1-2) @ Montwood Rams (1-2)

4:00 pm kickoff, Socorro Student Activities Complex

Broadcasters: Mando “The Monster” Medina and Christian Molinar

Channels: Montwood https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/montwood-rams/

Hungry 6A foes meet up in a rematch of a 27-0 shutout by Odessa in 2018.  The Bronchos have had to replace 14 starters from a team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season.  Running back Senjun McGarity will be a key player on offense to watch, their young offense is searching for consistency early in the year inside their pistol-based offense.  Odessa is running a 3-4 odd front on defense and has a top linebacker in District 2-6A in Cade Mendoza.  Montwood’s offense has been strong this season, quarterback Sebastian Galvan is averaging 12.2 yards per completion and has three consistent targets in the passing game in Carlos Flores, Chris Ramos, and Aaron Morales.  Of course, Ramos is a big part of the Ramos offense and has 497 yards of total offense from scrimmage and lines up at tailback.  Defense is where the Rams will look to turn things around early in the season.  Rams senior linebacker Pedro Escobar leads a defense that has struggled since the fourth quarter of their season opener.  Expect tons of points and fireworks in this one.  Montwood may have the better playmakers on offense which should lead to a close and exciting win. 

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Montwood by 3

#1 Franklin Cougars (3-0) @ El Dorado Aztecs (0-2)

7:30 pm, Socorro Student Activities Complex

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

Channels: Franklin and El Dorado https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/el-dorado-aztecs/

Franklin looks to keep their hot start to the season going, while El Dorado looks to play a Thursday night spoiler in the late game at the SAC. Franklin has been very consistent in all three phases and is clearly one of the top teams in the city and Region.  Offensive stars continue to emerge each week for Franklin as last week it was Edwin Sutton who ran for more than 200 yards on just six carries.  El Dorado’s offensive consistency and explosiveness will have Franklin’s full attention as Aztec quarterback Chris Bustillos is off to a hot start and one the best dual-threat quarterbacks in town.  The Aztecs are averaging 405 yards per game through the first three weeks and could push Franklin if they are able to generate some chunk plays.  If you are a fan of the “Trap Game” this is a game for you.  Could be closer than expected, but Franklin is playing on another planet this year.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts… Franklin by 14

Friday, September 20th

San Angelo Central Bobcats (1-2) @ #4 Pebble Hills Spartans (2-1)

4:00 pm kickoff, Socorro Student Activities Complex

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

Channels: Pebble Hills https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/pebble-hills-spartans/

A great matchup starts the action on Friday across the city.  Pebble Hills and San Angelo Central meet for the third straight year as Pebble Hills looks for their first win in school history against a team from out of town.  Central had a devastating loss last week in where they were leading 5A power Cedar Park 35-21 in the final two minutes of the game but lost 41-35 in overtime.  Quarterback Malachi Brown has not been sacked this year and threw for 219 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 145 yards adding two rushing touchdowns last week.  It will be a battle of quarterbacks as Sebastian Ochoa for Pebble Hills is very talented as well.  Ochoa has thrown 11 touchdown passes and just one interception on 79 pass attempts this season.  He’s also averaging 8.9 yards per carry and has rushed for four touchdowns so far this season. It will be another game with lots of points and fireworks.  The difference in this one will be the stellar play of Sebastian Ochoa.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Pebble Hills by 2

#5 Parkland Matadors (3-0) @ Chapin Huskies (0-3)

7 pm kickoff, Tony Shaw Memorial Field

Broadcasters: Peter Carrillo and Andy Quintana

Channels: Parkland and Chapin https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/chapin-huskies/

Parkland will be looking for another 4-0 start as they face a Chapin team still finding their way on offense.  The Mats have reloaded nicely on offense and continue to be a factor in Region I 5A DII.  Parkland is averaging 393 yards per game on offense behind the big arm of Gabe Herrera and fast wideouts Donta Hayes and Jesse Sandoval.  Junior running back Jonathan Barton ran for 164 yards last week and is becoming another major factor.  Chapin’s defense has been strong in certain points of the early season, but the Huskies’ rebuilding year is focused around a struggling offense that finally reached the endzone last week after being shutout the first two weeks.  Expect more improvement from Chapin, but Parkland might be too much in this one. 

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Parkland by 10

Del Valle Conquistadores (0-3) @ #6 Canutillo Eagles (3-0)

7:00 pm kickoff, Eagles Stadium

Broadcasters: Chris Gomez and Alex Rodriguez

Channels: Del Valle and Canutillo https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/del-valle-conquistadores/

Former district rivals face off in what should be another classic game between Del Valle and Canutillo.  Del Valle is hungry after a tough start to the season, playing a difficult schedule which should pay dividends in week four.  Del Valle’s defense is led by sure tackling linebacker Tommy Calderon and a fast secondary who can give problems to anyone.  Offensive consistency will be key for Del Valle as they find a balance of production in their run and pass game.  Canutillo has one of the city’s most dangerous weapons in Carlos Amato who will certainly be a factor.  Canutillo’s defense took a big step forward last week and will continue to improve each week.  Keep an eye on defensive end Josiah Holloway who had a strong game last week against Mountain View.  This game will be a physical one which will be won at the line of scrimmage.  This one will come down to the wire, Amato and a big play by the Canutillo defense will be the difference.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts… Canutillo by 6

#7 Burges Mustangs (2-1) @ Socorro Bulldogs (0-3)

7:00 pm kickoff, Bulldog Stadium

Broadcasters: Christian Molinar and Ryan Adams

Channels: Burges and Socorro https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/burges-mustangs/

Burges is coming off a huge win against Eastlake and looking to keep things rolling early while Socorro looks to continue to improve.  The Mustangs rush attack has been a big strength, but their defense took a big step in holding a good Eastlake offense to a 2-10 clip on third down conversions.  Look for Burges athlete Tavorus Jones to become a bigger factor in the offense going forward as the sophomore adds a big dimension to their offense.  Burges might be rolling out a new quarterback this week while Audwin Johnson rests due to an injury.  Socorro will look to take care of the ball, and play keep away against Burges.  Damian Williams is an outstanding athlete and must be accounted for.  Look for the Mustangs to keep it on the ground with Robert Hall and Jones.  Could be a career day for either.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Burges by 20

Clint Lions (2-0) @ #8 Austin Panthers (3-0)

7 pm kickoff, R.E. McKee Stadium

Broadcasters: Paul David Oliver and Shawn Murphy

Channels: Austin https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/austin-panthers/

Two run heavy teams will duke it out in a mans game Friday.  Both Clint and Austin want to run the ball and use their offensive lines as strengths.  Clint is averaging 327 yards per game on the ground led by running back Isaac Rosales who is averaging 12 yards per carry in their first two games.  Gale Lopez is the leading tackler for the Lions who will be a district title contender in District 1-4A.  Austin is averaging 356.7 yards per game on the ground led by talented and hard running duo of Will Rodriguez and Isiah Witterstauter.  Combined, both teams have thrown the ball 13 total times this year.  Finishing drives will be key this week for both squads, should be a fun close game in Central El Paso.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Austin by 4

DCTF #24 Midland Lee Rebels (3-0) @ Eastwood Troopers (1-2)

7:00 pm kickoff, Trooper Stadium

Broadcasters: Mike Tipton and Mark Saldana

Channels: Eastwood https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/eastwood-troopers/ 

A state ranked team visits El Paso for the first time in a while as Eastwood continues their tough non-district schedule.  Midland Lee has dreams of a state title run as the Rebels cross into the El Paso City Limits with tons of talents.  Lee is averaging 493 yards per game.  Quarterback Michael Serrano has a number of weapons at his disposal, but 6’4 wideout Loic Fouonji is a three-star wideout with offers from Oklahoma State and Arkansas and will be a key target for the Trooper defense.  Junior running back Shemar Davis could be a rising star in the recruiting circles as well.  The junior is averaging 13.3 yards per carry and is their leading rusher.  The Rebel defense has forced seven turnovers, six via interceptions led by safety Karl Taylor who is another three-star prospect who has two interceptions on the season.  Eastwood has improved each week since a shocking season opening loss to Americas. Trooper quarterback Chris Castaneda will have a special season and faces his biggest test in the form of the Midland Lee defense.  Eastwood’s offense always gives them a chance, but the defense will have to bend and try to not break too much against a strong Midland Lee team.  Eastwood could keep this one close early, but Midland Lee is just way too talented and the big plays could gash the Troopers at some point.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…..Midland Lee by 24

Ysleta Indians (3-0) @ Bowie Bears (1-1)

7:00 pm kickoff, Baty-Simmang Stadium

Broadcasters: Michael Montes and Mark Mena

Channels: Ysleta and Bowie https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/ysleta-indians/

Another fun matchup that will feature tons of speed from both teams.  Ysleta’s balanced offensive attack is explosive led by quarterback Adrian Jacquez-Castaneda.  The junior has thrown for 833 yards with 10 touchdowns to just one interception in 66 pass attempts so far this year.  Gio Martinez and Lucas Flores are having big seasons as expected.  The talented wideout duo gives fits to their opponents.  The Ysleta defense will look to tune up as they allowed Irvin to throw on them last week and allowed five passing touchdowns.  The Bears offense is way more balanced than in past years, but their defense has recovered five fumbles this year giving them an early strength to lean on.  This will be another close game.  Both teams have experience, I think Bowie shows some rust early from not playing last week but give me the Southside Bears in a mild upset.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts……Bowie by 3

El Paso Tigers (0-3) @ Hanks Knights (3-0)

7:00 pm kickoff, Excalibur Stadium

Broadcasters: Sergio Robali and Henry Reyna

Channels: Hanks and El Paso https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/hanks-knights/

Hanks returns home, while El Paso is looking for any confidence they can find early in the season.  The only thing that has stopped the Hanks offense this year is the weather as their game against Fabens was canceled last week due to the storms in Fabens.  Mykal Blanco enters Friday’s game 341 yards away from the city’s all-time receiving record.  Not much has gone right for the Tigers this year.  Last week they were shutout 62-0 at home against Bel Air. El Paso has been outscored 140-28 through the first three weeks of the season.  Expect another big offensive game from the Knights in this one.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Hanks by 30

Riverside Rangers (1-2) @ Jefferson Silver Foxes (1-2)

7:00 pm kickoff, Silver Foxes Stadium

Broadcasters: Paul Torres and Fonzie Gomez

Channels: Riverside and Jefferson https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/riverside-rangers/

Another matchup with a potential to be a close game with tons of drama.  Jefferson found a running game with sophomore Arturo Rubio who ran for 141 yards against Parkland last week.  A consistent run game should hide the early struggled in the pass game to start the season.  Riverside’s Jesus Escalante is fourth in the state in sacks.  Jefferson will be playing with tons of energy on homecoming and appears to have the stronger offense in this one.  Riverside is looking for some playmakers to step up on offense and build some identities before district play.  This one will be close and come down the last possession.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Jefferson by 2

Amarillo Tascosa Rebels (2-1) @ #1 Americas Trailblazers (3-0)

7:30 pm kickoff, Socorro Student Athletic Complex

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

Channels: Americas https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/americas-trail-blazers/

If we had to pick a game of the week, this would be it.  Tascosa-Americas is a potential playoff preview with loads of talent on each squad.  Americas is of course led by running back Aaron Dumas who posted seven rushing touchdowns last week and is proving that he is the best in the state. Americas’ defense ranks third in the country in sacks led by Dylan Kemp who is second in the state with 8.0 sacks.  Tascosa quarterback Joseph Plunk ran for over 1,700 yards in the Rebels triple option attack last season.   Plunk ran for 165 yards and four touchdowns last week.  The Rebels posted 552 yards against Amarillo Palo Duro last week.  Defensive end LB Moore is committed to Texas Tech and a three-star athlete whom Americas won’t be scared to run right into.  Limiting mistakes and finishing drives will be key for the Blazers.  This Americas team is good and will prove to the state that El Paso 6A teams could be a threat this year come late November. 

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Americas by 2

Other games

Friday

  • #4 Andress (3-0) vs. Wolfforth Frenship (2-1) @ Roswell, NM, 5 PM MT

Frenship is much improved and the Eagle offense will have to step up in this one…

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Frenship by 4

  • Eastlake (0-3) @ Coronado (1-2), 7 pm

 Eastlake might have too much speed for Coronado, hard to see the T-Birds keeping up in a shootout.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Eastlake by 7

  • Irvin (0-2) @ San Elizario (0-3)

Someone O has to go, look for continued improvement from the Rocket offense.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Irvin by 12

  • Horizon (2-1) @ Bel Air (1-2)

This one will be a good game to watch.  Bel Air has confidence after picking up their first win last week, but Horizon is building something with their young talent.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Horizon by 7

Last week prediction record: 14-1

Season record: 35-9

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