Photo by Bill Coon
The Horizon High Scorpions made their way into Jones Stadium overlooking a beautiful El Paso skyline, and took home a victory. The game was a tale of two halves, as there was no scoring in the first half. On both teams, there was a lack of cohesiveness to start off and as they both settle in the better play started to happen. The offensive drives developed but scoring did not follow. It was as if the scoreboard almost followed suit, as power to it was lost at the 5-minute mark in the second quarter and was not restored until the second half started. Both coaches must has said all the right things because the scoring started then. The teams exchanged good drives and scoring throughout the third and fourth quarters.
El Paso scored the first points of the game on a 6-yard TD run from Ryan Pena at the 8-minute mark of the third. The next drive saw Horizon’s Ernie Garcia break a nice sized run (of about 25 yards), navigating a sea of black jerseys, get away from a couple take downs, and sprinting to the end zone for a 71-yard score. Horizon followed up with another score off a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Quijas to Damien Lujan, but the extra point was unsuccessful. El Paso’s Yan Arias took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards and nearly scored but was taken down a couple yards short of the end zone. Zach Rodriguez ending up scoring on a QB keeper up the middle a couple times and the Tigers took back the lead 14-13.
Horizon nearly scored early in the fourth quarter and was inside the 5 when they turned the ball over to El Paso. Horizon’s defense ended up making up for that by stopping the Tigers on the first play, pinning them back to their own 1-yard line. El Paso kept consistent with their run pass option offense that had worked, but Horizon was expecting Rodriguez to keep the ball. Horizon set up correctly, swarmed Zach in the end zone and he ended up drawing an intentional grounding penalty and giving the Scorpions the two-point safety and a 15-14 lead along with the ball.
Horizon had its sights set on victory and on the next drive the ran clock down, which was topped off with another Ernie Garcia touchdown, from 18 yards out. The Horizon Scorpions took that final scoring to the end of regulation and took a 22-14 victory.
Ernie Garcia was the standout of the game with two scores and over 100 yards rushing.
Andy Quintana Reporting