Week Nine El Paso High School Football Preview and Predictions

Photo by Ace Acosta/El Paso Herald Post

Thursday, October 24th

#2 Franklin Cougars (6-1, 1-1) @ #4 Montwood Rams (5-2, 2-0)

7:00 pm kickoff, Socorro Student Activities Center

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

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

The second mega game of the district 1-6A schedule takes place Thursday as first place playoff seeds will be on the line.  Franklin and Montwood are both slated be in the Division I bracket of the 6A playoff picture, so this game means a possible playoff home game is on the line between two powerhouses.  Montwood has been getting it done on both sides of the ball during their four-game win streak.  Quarterback Sebastian Galvan threw five touchdowns last week against Pebble Hills, while running back Chris Ramos has ran for 98 or more yards in six of Montwood’s seven games this year.  Franklin will be looking to bounce back as their pass game was grounded last week against Coronado, but the Cougar offensive line and run game took things over.  Both defenses will play in a key role in what should be a close game.  Whichever defense comes up with the huge fourth quarter stop should win.  This one is too close to confidently call, could go either way.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Montwood by 2

Friday, October 25th

#6 Pebble Hills Spartans (4-3, 1-1) @ #1 Americas Trailblazers (6-1, 2-0)

4:00 pm, Socorro Student Activities Center

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

Channels: America shttps://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/americas-trail-blazers/

Another week nine game in where playoff seeding is on the line. Both Pebble Hills and Americas are slated to be in the DII 6A playoff bracket, meaning another 1-6A game in where a possible home playoff matchup is on the line.  Americas is averaging 344.7 rushing yards per game during their three-game win streak.  Aaron Dumas is 106 yards away from the 2,000-yard mark for the season.  Dumas has 26 rushing touchdowns on the season and is on the verge of breaking the city’s single season rushing record set back in 1985 by Austin’s Steven Lee who ran in 29 touchdowns.  Pebble Hills will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss against Montwood in where they lost some key offensive players to injury.  The Pebble Hills offensive line will have to protect talented quarterback Sebastian Ochoa from an Americas defense that leads the state with 57.5 sacks.  Pebble Hills must play a perfect game as Americas is rolling and can lock up a playoff spot with a win. 

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Americas by 14

Bowie Bears (4-2, 2-1) @ #5 Burges Mustangs (6-1, 3-0)

7:00 pm kickoff, Mustang Stadium

Broadcasters: Mike Tipton and Mark Saldana

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

Burges has been riding high all year long but will face a hungry Bowie team coming off a loss last week to Austin.  Bowie had district title hopes coming into last week but let a 14-0 lead slip away as Austin ran for 249 yards on the Bowie defense last week.  Bowie brings a balanced attack on offense but will have to stop Burges’ versatile run game.  Bowie has playmakers like Justin Diaz and Carlos Varela who are experienced and uber talented both on offense and defense.  The Burges defense has allowed just 16 points in three district games, pitching back-to-back shutouts and have shutout their opponents over the last nine quarters of football. Bowie has been playing good football all season long, while the Mustangs have been playing on a championship level all season.  This one will be close, Bowie will give Burges all they can handle but the Mustangs big play ability is the difference.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Burges by 8

Hanks Knights (4-2, 1-1) @ #8 Canutillo Eagles (6-1, 2-0)

7:00 kickoff, C. Julius & Irene Lowenberg Stadium

Broadcasters: Michael Montes and Andy Quintana

Channels: Canutillo https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/canutillo-isd/

Fire meets steel in an important 1-5A DII battle.  Hanks flashy offense meets the gritty Canutillo defense in a game of total opposites in terms of style.  Hanks put up 648 total yards of offense last week with quarterback Aaron Molina throwing six touchdown passes versus Horizon.  Mykal Blanco had four receiving touchdowns and 251 receiving yards last week.  Canutillo’s strength has been their tough defense and effective run game.  Esteban Talavera and Josiah Holloway lead a sound Canutillo defense like can create havoc with their front seven.  Another big district test for Hanks who is gunning for a top seed in this district.  A true chess match between experienced coaching staffs should give fans a pleasant post Halloween treat.  Can the Knights match the Eagles physicality, or can Canutillo keep up with the Knights speed?  It won’t be pretty, but Canutillo should get the job done in a close game.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Canutillo by 4

Bel Air Highlanders (3-4, 0-2) @ Del Valle Conquistadores (3-4, 1-1)

7:00 pm kickoff, Conquest Stadium

Broadcasters: Chris Gomez and Henry Reyna

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

Both teams are coming off losses and will look to keep up in the playoff race.  Bel Air is on the ropes as a loss makes it very hard to charge back for a playoff spot.  Del Valle figures to be playing with a chip on their shoulder as they lost to Eastwood last week in overtime. Del Valle’s run game and defense are tough for anyone and will be tough for a struggling Bel Air team who has lost back-to-back games after a three-game win streak.  Look for a big game from Joel Serrano who is averaging 125.3 yards per game in his last four games.  Bel Air’s backfield featuring quarterback Adrian Parsons and Devyn Loray provide some explosive production that will be looking to get back on track and snap a two-game losing skid.  Expect a big bounce back game from Big Bad Blue.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts… Del Valle by 20

Riverside Rangers (4-3, 1-1) @ Ysleta Indians (3-4, 0-2)

7:00 pm kickoff, Hutchins Stadium

Broadcasters: Sergio Robali and Alex Rodriguez

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

A major El Paso rivalry won’t just be for pride, it will set up the playoff race for the final two weeks of the regular season.  Riverside can virtually eliminate Ysleta with a win and thus give them a chance to control their own destiny to the playoffs. While a win from Ysleta will turn the 1-5A DII race into a frenzy for the fourth spot.  The key matchup in this one will be the Ysleta offense versus the Riverside defense.  Riverside gained tons of confidence from a close loss to Canutillo and will bring in a physical group that will test the Indians.  This is a rivalry that started back in 1972 and will be a physical affair with a dramatic ending.  Riverside has not beat Ysleta since 2012.  

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Riverside by 2

Irvin Rockets (2-4, 1-1) @ Austin Panthers (5-2, 3-1)

7:00 pm kickoff, R.E McKee Stadium

Broadcasters: Paul David Oliver and Shawn Murphy

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

Austin can get themselves one step closer to a playoff spot, while Irvin is hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Austin defense is playing a good stretch of football led by Will Rodriguez and defensive lineman Yazniel Escalera.  Austin’s run game continues to be a well-oiled machine by averaging 8.7 yards per carry.  Rodriguez also has 912 rushing yards and can give the Panthers a pair of 1,000-yard rushers on the season as Isaiah Witterstauter is at 1,106 rushing yards on the season.  Irvin is coming off a bye week which gives their young core an extra week to prepare for this important game. The Rockets are super balanced on offense led by running backs Dominic Stiverson and Yeremiah Yhisreal who have 11 rushing touchdowns between them.  Irvin’s speed should give Austin issues, but the Panthers continue to play solid football and could lock up a playoff spot with a win this week.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Austin by 10

El Dorado Aztecs (1-6, 1-1) @ Eastlake Falcons (3-4, 2-0)

Approx. 7:30 pm kickoff, Socorro Student Activities Center

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

Channels: Eastlake https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/eastlake-falcons/

Eastlake has put it together very nicely and is looking the part of a district title holder while El Dorado is booming with confidence after their first win of the season last week.  The Falcons defense has been an improving unit over the past three weeks which has led to a three-game win streak.  Orion Olivas has thrown for 2,022 yards and 19 touchdowns, adding four rushing scores for the Falcons.  El Dorado has the reigning Speaking Rock Player of the Week in quarterback Chris Bustillos who ran for over 230 yards and three touchdowns and threw for over 200 yards and a pair of scores through the air.  Kris Martin is one of the best pass catching targets in the city along with Chris Harris who form a solid and productive tandem that Eastlake will have to cover and try contain along with the elusive Bustillos.  Both teams have bundles of confidence and should provide a shootout type game.  El Dorado has the ingredients for an upset, can they play perfect against red-hot Eastlake?

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Eastlake by 12

Other games

Friday

  • Socorro (0-7, 0-2) @ Coronado (1-6, 0-2)

Coronado’s passing game and defense should continue to improve.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Coronado by 12

  •  Eastwood (2-5, 1-1) @ Chapin (1-6, 1-1)

Winner controls their own destiny to a playoff spot, loser needs lots of help.  Eastwood builds a two-game win streak in a grind it out low scoring affair.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Eastwood by 4

  • El Paso (0-7, 0-3) @ #7 Andress (5-2, 2-1)

Andress rolls on homecoming.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Andress by 35

  • #3 Parkland (7-0, 2-0) @ Horizon (2-5, 0-2)

If Parkland wins, they are in the playoffs.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts…Parkland by 28

Last week prediction record: 10-2

Season record: 77-23