Eastlake Slips past Eastwood 24-21

Photo by Mark Mena

On a chilly October night at the Socorro Activity Center, the home team Eastlake Falcons opened the District 1-5A football season with a hard fought last second win against the visiting Eastwood Troopers.

Both teams came into this district opener with tough non-district schedules and coming off a bye week. Eastlake JR QB Orion Olivas would get the first TD on the board with a 23 YD pass to JR WR Matthew Jones in the 1st Quarter. Eastwood’s starting QB Soph Andrew Martinez had difficulty in moving the ball and the Troopers were penalized heavily through most of the 1st half. Eastwood S SR Nathan Carranza picked off Olivas in the 1st Quarter and ran it back 60 YDs for the TD but the TD was called back for illegal block on the return.

Orion Olivas called his own number in the 2nd Quarter and ran it for 2 YDs into the End zone to put Eastlake up 14-0. The Troopers made a change at QB with JR Aidan Garcia and on his very first play, he hit Carranza for a 67 YD TD to end the half at 14-7.

Eastlake would take a 21-7 lead going into the 4th Quarter. The Troopers would tie it up courtesy of a Garcia 36 YD TD Pass to Soph WR Isaiah Pena and a 2 YD Rushing TD by Soph RB Luca Gandara. Eastlake would get the ball back with 1:00 left and Olivas would lead the Falcons down to the Eastwood 35 YD line with :04 left to play and 4th down. With the score 21-21, Falcons Coach Ruben Rodriguez called on his Freshman K Julian Melucci and kicked the game winning FG from 45 yards out as time expired.

Eastwood QB Aidan Garcia finished the night with 261 YDs on 14/17 passing and 2 TDs. Falcons QB Orion Olivas went 24/36 227 YDs, passing for 1 TD and rushing for another.

Our player of the night is Freshman K Julian Melucci. Next up for Eastwood is a home game with Del Valle. Eastlake will host Chapin next Friday night.

Mark Mena reporting