Photo by Mike Tipton
Tropical Storm Sergio and the Hanks Knights defense couldn’t stop Deion Hankins from reaching a milestone in the Matadors 56-28 win over the Knights Friday night in Northeast El Paso.
Hanks started the game promising. Stud WR, Michael Blanco, received the opening kickoff and ran it up to the 45 yard line. The Knights tried attacking the fast and determined Parkland Defense with quick screen passes and running right at them. The third play of the game for the Knights would prove costly as Hanks QB, Aaron Molina threw a screen pass that was tipped by Matador LB Aaron Herrera. Herrera stuck with the deflection and intercepted the ball running it back to the Knights 6 yard line. 2 Hankins runs later, the Matadors were up 7-0.
The ensuing drive found Hanks starting at the 30, but a fumble that was recovered by Parkland, gave the Matadors great field position. From the 31 yard line, Parklands dynamic QB and receiver, Gabriel Herrera and Khatib Lyles connected on a deep pass for a touchdown at the pylon. 3 total plays and 9 seconds after their first TD, the Matadors were up, 14-0.
Hanks fought back after this early offensive onslaught from Parkland, with a drive that ended in a 1 yard TD run by Hassim Pina-Peterson, and highlighted by a Pina-Peterson 60 yard run, from the 20 to the 20, to give the Knights life.
The first quarter ended with Hankins getting his 2nd TD of the game, and the score growing to 21-7. The second Quarter saw yet another Hankins TD run to put the Matadors up 28-7 late in the first half. The Knights wouldn’t go into the half with their heads down as Molina connected with the dynamic Michael Blanco for a 53 yard TD pass, that cut the lead to 28-14 going into the half.
After the half, the Matadors received the kickoff, and a steady diet of Deion Hankins was in order. The rainy night fit the Parkland style of play as Hankins was featured on every drive, minus one that ended in a three and out and Parkland’s only punt of the game.
A 65 yard swing pass to Hankins blew the doors open and saw the Matadors lead swell to 35-14. Parkland tallied up another TD before the 3rd Quarter ended and Hanks answered that score with a 54 yard TD pass off of a screen to running-back, Hassim Pina-Peterson.
The 4th Quarter saw history made, as Deion Hankins became the 104th player in Texas High School Football history to reach the 6,000 rushing yard milestone. Hankins came into the game needing 170 yards to reach the 6,000 yard mark and with a total of 163 on the ground, the UTEP commit broke through the line of scrimmage and turned on the jets as he scampered for a 34 yard TD run, putting the milestone well behind him. The score now at 49-21, the Matadors and Knights each scored one more TD as the game ended 56-28 on this rainy El Paso Friday night.
Hankins amassed 290 rushing yards, 355 total yards and 6 total TDs (5 rushing, 1 receiving). Hanks QB paced the way for both QB’s passing for over 200 yards and 2 TD’s. Michael Blanco, assisted by his huge 120 yard first half, lead all receivers.
The road doesn’t get easier for the Matadors who are now 5-0-1, as they go on the road to face the Ysleta Indians who are 6-0 after a close win over the Canutillo Eagles.
Hanks’ tough gauntlet (playing Del Valle and Parkland in back to back games), lets up this week as the Knights go on the road to face the 2-1 Horizon Scorpions.
Mike Tipton Reporting