El Paso 6A-5A Region I Area Round Preview

Photo by Matt Metz


Friday, November 23 (all times are Mountain Time)

Andress Eagles (8-2) vs Wichita Falls Rider Raiders (6-5)

5A DII area round, 11:40 am pregame show, 12 pm kickoff, Ratliff Stadium, Odessa, Texas

*Winner plays El Paso Parkland or Canyon Randall in next round

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Coach Tony Grijalva 

Channel: Andress https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/andress-eagles/

Andress and Rider meet for the second time in the area round Friday at Ratliff. The Eagles have won seven straight in where they have allowed just 9.5 points per game during that stretch.  Andress has major depth when it comes to defensive playmakers led by ball hawk defensive back Andrew Henderson.  Andress linebackers Kiante Liggins and Jeff Griffin have combined for 300 tackles, 16 TFL’s, and 7.0 sacks so far this season.  Throw in veteran playmakers like Jalen Pickens, and Xavier Macias and the Eagles secondary has snatched 22 interceptions on the season.  Offensively, Andress will rely on their power running back tandem of Jalen Joseph and Trevon Ware.  Quarterback Jeremiah Tosky has improved every week and will face an athletic defense in his first playoff start.   Rider has won four straight coming into Friday’s game as their defense has allowed just 270 yards per game in that stretch.  The Raiders spread out their run game among running backs Tre Byrd and Samuel Manuel.  Sophomore quarterback Jacob Rodriguez is among their leading rushers, and his older brother Joshua is the Raiders leading tackler.  Rider is a power-spread type of team, and can give Andress fits, but the Eagles defense will show their experience and talent as the minor difference on the scoreboard.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Andress by 4   

Franklin Cougars (9-2) vs Euless Trinity Trojans (9-1) 

6A DII area round, 12:45 pre-game show, 1 pm kickoff, Grande Communication Stadium, Midland, Texas

*Winner gets Southlake Carroll or DeSoto in next round

Broadcasters: Michael Montes and Christian Molinar

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

Heavy hearts will line the Franklin sidelines as they take on state power Trinity in Midland.  The Franklin community has been behind their star running back James McClain-Green who was in a serious car wreck over the weekend and is still receiving medical care.  Meanwhile the Franklin offense will look to continue their explosive play during their eight game win streak.  McClain-Green was a big part of that explosion, but running back Michael Mendoza, and quarterback Danny Walther will have to provide the spark offensively this week.  Trinity had two players run for over 200 yards in their bi-district win over Arlington Martin.  Brandon Theus ran for 225 yards a pair of touchdowns, then A.J. Barnett ran 221 yards and four touchdowns mostly in the second half to help them get to the area round for the 21st time in school history.  Franklin’s stud linebacker David Powers will face the best running back and offensive line combos he’s seen all year, but can the Franklin 4-2-5 defense withstand the power sets Trinity will use is a huge question.  A rematch of the 2005 5A regional quarterfinals sees Trinity’s run game wear down the Cougars.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts….Trinity by 17

Austin Panthers (9-2) vs #7 Lubbock Cooper Pirates (11-0)

5A DII area round, 1:45 pm pre-game show, 2 pm kickoff, Fort Stockton, Texas

*Winner plays El Paso Burges or Justin Northwest

Broadcasters: Mike Tipton and Mark Mena

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

The Austin Panthers make it the area round for the first time since 2007, but face a team hungry for El Paso blood.  Cooper has been knocked out of the playoffs by an El Paso team in three of the last four years, but is a clear cut Region I favorite.  The Pirates defense has allowed just 26 points since September 28th, and have a number of offensive playmakers in the backfield led by quarterback Brenden Mehl who is a returning starter.  Austin saw sophomore running back Will Rodriguez run for 186 yards and two touchdowns last week in their bi-district round game against Canutillo.  The Austin defense is a sound unit that will be tested against Cooper’s speed and balanced offensive scheme.  Austin’s patient offensive scheme might give Cooper a little trouble early on and keep the ball away from Mehl and the Pirate offense which should give Cooper an unexpected early punch from the Panthers.  Austin gives Cooper a scare early on, but the Pirates have state championship depth.  Tremendous season by Eric Pichardo and the Panthers regardless of the outcome.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Cooper by 21 

Burges Mustangs (7-3-1) vs Justin Northwest Texans (9-2)

 5A DII area round, approx. 4:45 pre-game show, approx. 5 pm kickoff Grande Communications Stadium, Midland, Texas

*Winner plays El Paso Austin or Lubbock Cooper in next round

Broadcasters: Michael Montes and Christian Molinar

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

Burges is in the area round for the fifth time in school history, meeting up with Justin Northwest who won their second ever playoff game in school history last week.  Texans’ running back DeMareus Hosey ran for 351 yards and five touchdowns last week against Wichita Falls High.  Hosey has ran for over 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season.  Another playmaker will be wide out Quinten Lee who has 15 touchdown receptions on the season, junior quarterback Austin Ahmad has completed 60 percent of his passes this year and tossed 36 touchdown passes.  Burges has a talented pair in the backfield in 1,200 yard rusher Robert Hall, and quarterback Oscar Maldonado who has played his best football down the stretch of the season.  Burges has to limit the turnovers to have a chance, Northwest’s defense has recorded 30 takeaways on the season.  Hall will be hard to stop, and will keep it close, turnovers and penalties will be a major factor in this one.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Northwest by 14

Parkland Matadors (10-0-1) vs Canyon Randall Raiders (5-6)

5A DII area round, approx. 4:45 pm pregame show, approx 5 pm kickoff, Ratliff Stadium, Odessa TX

*Winner plays El Paso Andress or Wichita Falls Rider in next round

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Coach Tony Grijalva 

Channels: https://www.towntalksportselpaso.com/parkland-matadors/

Parkland is looking their third straight third straight trip to the regional semifinal but will face a tough Randall defense at Ratliff in the El Paso doubleheader nightcap.  Deion Hankins has ran for over 2,000 yards for a third straight season, with a career high 25 touchdowns this season.  Parkland spreads the love on offense with quarterback Gabe Herrera, and 3-star wideout Khatib Lyles.  Randall’s defense allowed just 141 yards of total offense last week in their bi-district win, and will be the best defense Parkland has seen so far this year.  Jesean Barrow, Randall’s running back, will be a key offensive player Parkland will have to identify.  He ran for 265 yards last week, while quarterback Landon Nix threw for two touchdowns last week as well.  Parkland will have get physical on defense, and limit the mistakes on offense, if they do that, Parkland should roll.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Parkland by 18

Saturday, November 24

Del Valle Conquistadores (8-2) vs #3 Denton Ryan Raiders (11-0)

5A DI area round, 11:40 pregame show,  12pm kickoff, Grande Communication Stadium, Midland, Texas

*Winner plays Azle or Lubbock Coronado in next round

Broadcasters: Alex Nicolas and Coach Tony Grijalva 

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

Del Valle is no stranger to playing state power’s, and faces another in the area round against state ranked and Region I favorite Denton Ryan.  Denton Ryan has made it to the state semifinal for two straight seasons, and average nearly 400 yards of offense per game this season.  Ryan has a deep stable of skill players, and what they may lack in experience, they overwhelm you with speed and talent.  Ryan’s defense has picked off 17 passes, led by sophomore Billy Bowman who has five interceptions, and is also their leading receiver with seven touchdown catches.  Raymond Montez has been performing at a district MVP level along with his veteran core of receivers in Karch Gardiner, Danny Cortez, and Cauy Oropeza.  Del Valle’s defense continues to impress with their toughness and execution, limiting Amarillo to just 198 yards of total offense last week and have allowed just 23 points in the past four weeks.  Ryan is really good, but Del Valle is really tough and well coached.  Del Valle throws the first few punches and hangs with Ryan for four quarters.

Town Talk Sports El Paso Predicts…Ryan by 12 

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