Week Three El Paso High School Football Preview and Predictions

Photo by Pablo Corral

Thursday, September 12th

Eastlake Falcons (0-2) @ #8 Burges Mustangs (1-1)

6:30 pm kickoff, Mustang Stadium

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

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

Two stellar offensive units get week three going across the city with a prime Thursday night matchup at Mustang Stadium.  Eastlake is looking for their first win under first year head coach Ruben Rodriguez.  The Falcons’ offense has averaged 409.5 yards per game through the first two weeks of the season with quarterback Orion Olivas tossing six touchdown passes.  Defensive improvement will be key for the Falcons as they have allowed 200 yards or more rushing in each of the first weeks.  A quick improvement will be needed as Burges could have the one of top rushing attacks in the city.  The Mustangs have averaged 5.8 yards per carry and 258 yards rushing per game so far this season. A trio of athletes in quarterback AJ Johnson and running backs Robert Hall and Tavorus Jones give Burges a deep stable of talent that spread the touches among these three talented runners.  The Mustang defense is led by second year starter and junior linebacker Alec Marenco and fellow linebacker and senior Daniel Solis.  This could be the best game of the week, both teams have the offensive power to score 40 points each time out, but the defense who can create a key stop will be the victor.  Should be another close and exciting non-district game between Burges and Eastlake.   

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Burges by 2

#4 Andress Eagles (2-0) @ El Dorado (0-2)

7:00 pm, Socorro Student Activities Complex

Broadcasters: Christian Molinar and Ryan Adams

Channels: Andress and El Dorado https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/andress-eagles/

The Eagle defense has a string of seven straight quarters without allowing a touchdown as Andress looks to continue to soar with one of the best defensive units in the area.  Andress pitched a shutout last week against Chapin and have been stout through two games led by linebacker Kiante Liggins.  The Eagle offense will rely upon running backs Travon Ware and Keandre Jones.  Quarterback Jeremiah Tosky has been steady and could see an increased workload as the season goes along.  El Dorado has dual-threat quarterback Chris Bustillos who has thrown for over 190 yards and rushed for 100 yards each of the first two games of the season and will face the best defense he’s had to lineup against this year.  Kris Martin caught seven passes for 137 yards and a touchdown last week and will be another player Andress will have to account for.  El Dorado could give the Eagle defense some trouble in certain situations, but I expect Andress’ run game to get back on track this week. 

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Andress by 12

Friday, September 4th

#7 Austin Panthers (1-1) @ Socorro Bulldogs (0-2)

4:00 pm kickoff, Socorro Student Activities Complex

Broadcasters: Paul David Oliver and Shawn Murphy

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

Socorro has shown improvement through the first two weeks but is still searching for the win streak buster win.  This week Austin tries to extend the 39-game losing streak, although a breakthrough for Socorro appears to be near.  Winning the line of scrimmage will be key as both teams have strong running games and rely on playing physical to win.  Austin has had two different running backs run over 150 yards in Isiah Witterstauter and Will Rodriguez behind a solid offensive line.  Rodriguez also has 27 tackles on the defensive side at linebacker.  Whoever can move the ball on the ground effectively and efficiently as well as finish drives will be able to escape this physical battle. 

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Austin by 9

Midland Bulldogs (1-1) @ #1 Franklin Cougars (2-0)

6:30 pm, Cougar Stadium

Broadcasters: Abel Carrillo and Peter Carrillo 

Channels: Franklin https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/franklin-cougars/

Franklin meets up with a District 2-6A opponent for the second straight game in a potential playoff preview.  Both teams met in the bi-district round last year and regular season, putting up more than 100 combined points in both games and are very familiar opponents.  This will be the third time in the last two seasons that Midland and Franklin have matched up.  The schools have played each other every season since 2014.  Midland running back Daniel Garcia is averaging 7.2 yards per rush so far this season and has ran for four touchdowns as well.  Garcia ran for 240 yards against Pebble Hills last week.  Franklin’s defense will be tested by a third straight strong rushing attack they will have to contain and defend. Franklin linebackers David Powers and Will Garcia are starting to form one of the top linebacking duo in the city.  On offense, Danny Walther is our reigning TownTalk Sports El Paso Player of the Week and is the steady hand leading the potent Franklin offense.  Franklin should continue to roll, but Midland will test the Cougars run defense.  The experience and poise Franklin shows on both sides of the ball seems to be the Cougars main strength.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Franklin by 14

Bel Air Highlanders (0-2) @ El Paso Tigers (0-2)

7:00 pm kickoff, R.R. Jones Stadium

Broadcasters: Mark Mena and Andy Quintana

Channels: Bel Air and El Paso https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/el-paso-tigers/

A pair of winless teams look to get in the win column in the young season.  El Paso’s pass defense has struggled defending the pass so far through the first two weeks.  The Tigers offense is also looking to get back on track after a slow start.  Bel Air quarterback Adrian Parsons has had a strong start, completing 64 percent of passes with six touchdowns.  His favorite target this year has been Fernando Castillo has caught 16 passes for 159 yards through the first two weeks.  El Paso’s offense should show some life this week, but I think Bel Air’s offense is starting to develop into a consistent unit and should put up big numbers this week.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts… Bel Air by 11

Eastwood Troopers (0-2) @ Horizon Scorpions (2-0)

7:00 pm kickoff, Emperor Stadium

Broadcasters: Chris Gomez and Alex Rodriguez

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

Horizon is off to a surprising 2-0 start with a young team, while Eastwood searches for their first win of the 2019 season.  Horizon has a balanced offense with two sophomores starring in the backfield.  Sophomore Jacob Quijas has completed 62 percent of his passes and tosses three touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season.  Sophomore running back Ernie Garcia is an electric runner who averages 7.5 yards per carry and has ran for 100 yards or more in each of the first two games.  Eastwood has had a difficult schedule to start the season, but quarterback Christian Castaneda found his mojo again last week against Plano after a disaster start against Americas to open the season.  Castaneda threw for 257 yards and ran for 168 yards last week against Plano.  Finding consistent pass catcher is a key, and it appear AJ Delgado stepped up huge last week with six catches.  Expect Eastwood’s offense to improve in week three, but don’t sleep on Horizon, they should give the Troop all they can handle in the High Desert.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Eastwood by 12

Chapin Huskies (0-2) @ #3 Pebble Hills Spartans (1-1)

7:30 pm kickoff, Socorro Student Activities Center

Broadcasters: Mike Tipton and Mark Saldana

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

Pebble Hills returns home after a tough loss last week, while Chapin is looking for some offensive confidence.  Chapin has yet to score on offense this season, but their defense took a big step last week keeping in the game against a good Andress team.  Pebble Hills quarterback Sebastian Ochoa is off to a strong start throwing four touchdowns in each of the first two games.  He’s also ran for 194 yards and two touchdowns.  Wideout Isaiah Davis has been a consistent big play threat for Spartans is one of the top targets Ochoa will feature this week.  Pebble Hills is the heavy favorite, while Chapin continues to adjust on offense.  

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Pebble Hills by 24

Irvin Rockets (0-1) @ Ysleta Indians (2-0)

7:00 pm kickoff, Hutchins Stadium

Broadcasters: Paul Torres and Fonzie Gonzalez

Channels: Irvin and Ysleta https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/chapin-huskies/

The Indians are off to another strong start, while the young Rockets continue to find their way.  Ysleta’s offense is averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game, and quarterback Adrian Jacquez has thrown eight touchdowns with zero interceptions through the first two weeks.  Lucas Flores and Gio Martinez have been problematic for opposing defense’s this season as the wideout tandem has a combined five touchdown catches. Irvin is debuting a whole new cast of players on offense and has a sophomore quarterback in John Knutson who will be a nice player to build around as the season progresses.  Ysleta should continue their hot start to the 2019 season.   

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…..Ysleta by 19

#6 Canutillo Eagles (2-0) @ Mountain View Lobos (2-0)

7:00 pm kickoff, Lobo Stadium

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Tony Grijalva

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

Canutillo’s Carlos Amato has been the city’s most valuable player so far this year and looks to continue his productive start to the 2019 season.  Amato has run for over 200 yards in each of the first two games and have five rushing touchdowns and two special teams return touchdowns. Canutillo’s defense has also been solid recording 24.0 tackles for loss in the first two games.  The Lobos are off to an 2-0 start and averaging 284.5 rushing yards per game.  Running back Hector Nevarez has ran for 194 yards with a 7.2 yard per carry average with three touchdowns.  Quarterback Chris Gamboa has also run for three touchdowns and is averaging 9.6 yards per carry and has 192 yards on the ground and has also thrown for 225 yards.  Alexis Cordero has been the leader on defense along with Esteban Pena.  Amato’s big play ability is the difference in this one, Mountain View could give Canutillo some early fits, but the Eagles playmaker should continue his strong start.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts……Canutillo by 20

Hanks Knights (2-0) @ Fabens Wildcats (1-1)

7:00 pm kickoff, Wildcat Stadium

Broadcasters: Sergio Robali and Henry Reyna

Channels: Jefferson https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/jefferson-silver-foxes/

Hanks’ offense continued its strong start last week, as the Knights travel east to face Fabens in week three.  Hanks has averaged 495.5 yards per game to open the season while running back Hasim Pina-Peterson has also ran for more than 100 yards in each of the first two wins of the season.  Hanks wide receiver Mykal Blanco is just 341 yards shy of tying the city’s all-time receiving record held by former Eastwood receive Richie Rodriguez.  Fabens is off to a 1-1 start, they beat Van Horn to open the season and fell to San Angelo Lake View last week.  Running back Jose Reyes ran for 187 yards in the season opener and will be a key player the Hanks defense will have to stop.  If Hanks stops the run, they should roll, but Fabens is tough and should hang around, but Blanco’s playmaking ability is always the difference.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Hanks by 20

Other games

Friday

  • Del Valle (0-2) @ Hutto (2-0), 6:00 pm, @ Hutto, Texas

Del Valle’s tough non-district schedule continues at Hutto who has an almost unstoppable offense through two weeks.  Del Valle’s defense is strong, but the offense has to play perfect on the road.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Hutto by 24

  • Bowie (1-1) @ Clint (2-0), 7:00 pm, Clint, Texas

 Bowie heads east to face a tough Clint team.  Bowie’s speed should be the difference in a very close game.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Bowie by 2

  • Jefferson (1-1) @ #5 Parkland (2-0), 7:00 pm, Matador Stadum

Parkland’s defense will look to build some confidence at home.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Parkland by 28

  • #2 Americas (2-0) @ Onate (0-2), 7:00 pm, Las Cruces, NM

Americas should roll easily in this one.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts…Americas by 30

  • Montwood (1-1) @ Midland Lee (2-0), 6:30 pm, Midland, Texas

Midland Lee is one of the best teams in Region I, and Montwood will have to play perfect, this is a good test for the young Rams.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts…Midland Lee by 20       

  • Coronado (1-1) @ Carlsbad (2-1), 7:00 pm, Carlsbad, NM

Coronado will need some big plays from their offensive playmakers in this one. Carlsbad will give the T-Birds all they can handle.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts….Carlsbad by 4               

  • Fort Stockton (2-0) @ Riverside (1-1), 7:00 pm, Midland, Tom Work Riverfront Stadium

Stopping the run will key for Riverside, I think the Rangers can make this one close and pull off a nice early season win.

TownTalk Sports El Paso Predicts…Riverside by 6

Last week prediction record: 12-3

Season record: 21-8

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