Mando Medina – Town Talk Sports El Paso
Thursday’s district 1-6A opener gave us everything we expected from Montwood and Coronado.
Outstanding defense, and big hits all night from both squads. A low scoring affair that came down to the final play of the game, and it was Montwood’s defense who came up with the biggest stop of the night to halt Coronado in a 17-10 defensive slugfest in the SAC Thursday night.
Both defensive units came up huge all night, but it was Montwood’s defense that picked off two passes, both by Evan Cisneros, and came up with the final stop in the closing seconds while Coronado was knocking on the door step as time ran out in the fourth quarter.
Montwood took a 14-10 halftime lead after holding the T-Birds to just 28 yards of total offense in the first half of play.
The only scoring in the second half came via a field goal by Montwood’s Ricardo Olague as the teams traded punts the entire second half until Coronado put together a drive in the final three minutes with a chance to tie.
Ethan Arroyo drove the T-Birds down the field, aided by a tipped pass by a Montwood defender that went into the hands of Coronado’s Ryan Uranga who took the lucky tip-catch deep inside Ram territory.
Then two pass interference penalties on Montwood on the ensuing set of downs set Coronado up with a fresh set of downs inside the two-yard line trailing 17-10 with 18 seconds left, without any timeouts.
The T-Birds called an outside run to Garrett Slaughter who was brought down in bounds for no gain as tried to get out of bounds but as the clock ticked away, Coronado was unable to get off another play, and Montwood starts district play 1-0.
Our Casa Nissan Player of the game goes to the entire Rams defensive unit, who piled up 3.0 sacks, and 10.0 tackles for loss in the win, and the two-interception effort by Evan Cisneros.
Montwood quarterback Jason Fernandez ran for a touchdown and threw for another score accounting for 166 yards through the air, and he also ran 86 yards. Montwood held Coronado to just 103 yards of total offense, which about 60 percent of that came on that dramatic final drive of the game.
The Rams have now won four straight games against Coronado, a streak that dates to 2014 for the defending co-district champs from 2017.
Montwood will play Pebble Hills next week, while Coronado plays rival Franklin next Thursday in the Sun Bowl.