Ace Acosta – El Paso Herald Post
The only two unbeaten teams in El Paso faced off on Friday night at Hutchins Stadium as the Parkland Matadors visited the Ysleta Indians. It took just a matter of minutes for Parkland’s playoff experience to overshadow the surprising start Ysleta has had this season.
The record-setting Deion Hankins didn’t take long to show just how great he is as he took off on a 51-yard touchdown run with 7:37 left in the first quarter. Parkland quarterback Gabriel Herrera then reminded the Indians that the Matadors were a complete offensive team when he found Giovanni Mata for an 11-yard touchdown pass and an early 14-0 lead.
The Parkland defense then had Josiah Salazar pinned in his own endzone when he tried to get rid of ball, but, unfortunately, Salazar failed to get the ball past the line of scrimmage and was called for intentional grounding and a safety in favor of Parkland.
The Indians finally answered when safety Ozzie Araiza cut in front of a route and returned the interception back 66 yards for Ysleta’s first score to make it 16-7.
Herrera then closed out the first half scoring when he found Jesus Sandoval for a 21-yard score and the 23-7 halftime lead.
Both teams traded big plays to begin the second half. First, Hankins scored his second touchdown by rumbling 58 yards to make it 30-7.
Salazar answered by connecting with tight end Sebastian Portillo for a 59-yard score, making the score 30-14.
Herrera made it 37-14 when he found Khatib Lyles for the 70-yard score.
The Matadors then put the Indians away with a one-yard touchdown pass from Herrera to Sandoval on a shovel pass, a 23-yard run by Hankins (his third), and a one-yard run by Herrera.
Ysleta scored only one more time on a 14-yard run by Lucas Flores for the final margin of 57-21.
Herrera was named our Casa Nissan Player of the game by throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns while adding one rushing touchdown. Hankins kept adding to his legacy by rushing for 236 yards and three scores, putting him at 1,140 yards rushing on the season.
Sergio Robali- Reporting