Photo by Alex Nicolas
Montwood-Eastwood had everything you’d expect from a ‘down the street’ rivalry.
A pre-game shouting matchup at the 50-yard line between both teams, a slugfest of a ball game that saw both teams throw multiple momentum hay makers of game changing plays throughout the beautiful El Paso evening in front of a capacity crowd at Fort Eastwood.
And it was Eastwood who survived 36-31 on homecoming.
Eastwood took a 27-21 lead into the halftime show after Chris Castaneda threw three first half touchdowns.
Montwood’s Chris Ramos ran for 170-yards unofficially with a touchdown and set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Efren Young that gave the Rams a 28-27 lead with seven minutes left in the third quarter after the first series of the second half.
Noah Rios would answer with a short touchdown on the ensuing drive, then the teams traded field goals as Eddie Holguin put Eastwood ahead 36-31 with 5:21 to go.
Our Casa Nissan Player of the Game was Eastwood ATH Nathan Carranza who had a 38-yard pick six in the first quarter and blocked a would-be, go-ahead field goal attempt by Montwood late in the game.
Eastwood has now blocked three field goals on the season, and pinned Montwood inside their own 20 yard line multiple times on great punts.
Montwood still had a chance late in the game as Jason Fernandez came up with big completion on a third down play with under three minutes left and drove Montwood into Eastwood territory with plenty of time and all three timeouts.
Ramos broke free inside his on 20-yard line a few plays later but would cough up the football and Eastwood recovered and took over deep inside their own territory with under two minutes to play.
Eastwood put the game away on a third and long as Castaneda found Nathan Samaniego for a big first down after Montwood burned all-of their timeouts and the Troop ran out the clock for the win.
Castaneda went 18-31 passing unofficially for 207 yards and three touchdowns. Rios ran for a hard earned and hard nosed 110 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams have bye weeks before district play starts and have 2-3 overall records heading into district play.
Alex Nicolas Reporting