Photo by Johnny Yturales
A look at some news, notes and thoughts on the opening week of the Texas High School football season.
Hanks offense off to roaring start
Jason Blair has an offensive machine already humming in full gear.
Hanks averaged 14.9 yards per play and put up 615 yards of offense in their season opening win against Socorro.
Hanks’ Mykal Blanco proved he’s the best playmaker in the city with his six-touchdown performance which included 296 receiving yards. The senior wideout will be a big part of the explosive Hanks offense and special teams return units.
Quarterback Aaron Molina tossed six touchdowns and 370 yards on just 19 pass attempts. Molina also rand for 100 yards and another touchdown on the ground.
Another strong performance from the Knights came from running back Hasim Pina-Peterson who ran for 125 -yards.
This group is experienced and explosive, and the coaching staff behind them have tremendous offensive backgrounds which could make this Hanks offense one of the most dangerous units to defend in the city.
6A contenders send major message
Two 6A contenders made major statements with big wins in highly anticipated games.
Americas dominated as soon as they walked off the bus in a 63-0 shutout of Eastwood.
The Blazer defense held Eastwood to just 164 total yards, forced six turnovers, and sacked Christian Castaneda eight times in their season opening win.
Eastwood wide receivers were unable to get any separation from a fast and rangy secondary that picked off three passes and dropped what would have two more passes going the other way. Americas linebacker Peter Velarde was a one-man wrecking crew in the middle, crashing gaps and stuffing the Eastwood run.
On offense, Mike Nowell led a balanced offensive attack that used almost every weapon on the field. Americas has two athletic wideouts in Ryan Acosta, and Sir Drennan, and their physical offense will also get their fullbacks and tight ends involved and kept the Eastwood defense on their heels in the entire night.
Aaron Dumas had a quiet 178 yards rushing, and of course will be a 200-yard or more threat each night.
Franklin had no trouble disposing the 2018 Class 6A New Mexico state runner-up, posting 7.0 sacks and showing the same balanced offense that led them to the area round last season.
Danny Walther was an efficient 14-for-27 passing for 278 yards and touchdown in his season debut.
Franklin continues to produce productive running backs behind a well-oiled offensive line as Pablo Gutierrez ran for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
One of the city’s best slot receivers Michael Haack had 92 receiving yards, and of course Franklin has the best linebacker in the city in David Powers.
Franklin came close on the road last year almost beating Cleveland but showed they could be a real Region I contender in class 6A here in Texas in 2019.
Both Americas and Franklin have tough out of town opponents in week two after strong week one showings which will say a lot about the high preseason expectations.
These two could be on a collision course for a district title, but also keep an eye on Pebble Hills who looked dominate in their season opening win against El Dorado.
Canutillo’s Carlos Amato runs wild against Eastlake
One of the most improved teams in the area this year could be Canutillo.
Running back Carlos Amato picked up right where he left off last year, running for over 200 yards and two touchdowns in a comfortable win against Eastlake. The senior also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
The Canutillo defense also was impressive piling up 19 tackles for loss against a good Eastlake offense.
With the explosive Amato, and a physical defensive line, paired with smart and fast second level on defense, Canutillo appears to be back.
Riverside’s defense comes up big in season opener win
The Gary Recoder era started off with a big defense effort to give the Riverside alum a nice first career win against very good San Elizario team.
The Ranger defense had five sacks, and nine tackles for losses as Riverside scored 21 points in the fourth quarter.
The win gives Riversdie their first opening season win since 2016 and gives the program major confidence going into a huge week two matchup with Burges.
Parkland and Burges OT thriller shows both teams are playoff ready
In just week one of the season, Parkland and Burges set the bar extremely high for a game of the year award.
So much drama occurred during a 41-40 Parkland win in overtime which should give both teams huge confidence going forward.
A sideline warning penalty added to drama and gave Burges a chance at a last second field goal which Jesus Torres calmly nailed to send the game into overtime.
Gabe Herrera’s poise was key for his club as led the final and scored what would be the go ahead score after the extra point was added to seal the deal in overtime.
Last year’s game was really close and the teams went back-and-forth like they did this year, showing two programs who will be tough to be Class 5A DII this year.
Both Parkland and Burges proved they can be district title contenders and gave fans a dramatic show of a game in week one.
The only bad news to come out of this game is Burges’ star offensive lineman and UTEP commit Jaime Escobar is out of the season with a broken leg according to Felix Chavez of the El Paso Times.
Del Valle’s schedule change
Del Valle was originally scheduled to host Salpointe Catholic out of Tucson, Arizona, but the program announced on Saturday that they will now host Central Union from Southern California.
The Spartans are 2-0 on the season and have shutout their opponents by a combined score of 80-0.
According to sources, a scheduling conflict created by Salpointe forced the cancelation leaving Del Valle to scramble for a week-two opponent. Central Union’s original week three opponent also had a scheduling conflict over the summer leaving the Spartans with just nine regular season games and two bye weeks coming into the season.
The Imperial Valley Press reports that YISD agreed to pay portion of travel costs for the Southern California program to make the trip to El Paso.
Kickoff is slated for 6:30 pm Friday, and of course, you can hear the game live on TownTalk Sports El Paso.