The Eldorado Eagles bounced back from their first loss of the season in a big way last Friday night when they hosted the McCamey Badgers and treated them to a 55-0 rout filled with highlight reel plays.
The Eagles put their defensive squad on the field first and promptly served notice to the visitors that they owned the line of scrimmage. The ball came back over to Eldorado and the Warbirds methodically marched down the field to set up Rico Martinez eight-yard scoring run. Hector Martinez added the first of the seven extra points he would kick on the night and Eldorado led McCamey 7-0 with 6:33 left to play in the opening stanza.
Unable to muster much in the way of offense, McCamey’s ensuing drive sputtered and the ball was punted back to the Eagles. The Warbirds wasted little time in scoring as Rudy Sanchez ran to pay dirt from 34 yards out. Hector Reyes added the point-after and the Eagles led 14-0 at 1:41 in the first quarter.
To say that the second quarter was more of the same for Eldorado would be an understatement. The Eagles exploded with 34 points in the period as Miles Mikeska scored on a one yard run and a 39 yard interception return for a touchdown. Rudy Sanchez added a pair of second quarter TDs of his own, carrying the ball in on a seven-yard run and again from six yards out. Rico Martinez got in on the scoring on a three-yard run and Hector Reyes booted through four of five extra-point attempts in the quarter.
The two teams surrendered the field to the marching bands at half time with Eldorado leading 48-0.
Eagles Coach Danny Wilhelm rested a number of his starting players for much of the second half. Eldorado and McCamey exchanged two possessions before Eldorado posted more points on the scoreboard. Then, with 1:41 left to play in the third period, quarterback
Blaine Mitchell would sneak the ball into the end zone from two yards out. Hector Reyes tacked on the extra point to give Eldorado a 55-0 lead that it could carry to the final buzzer.
“I was pleased with the execution on offensive and the defensive sides of the football,” Coach Danny Wilhelm commented after last week’s impressive victory. “We feel that was our best team outing and that is a good way to finish off the regular season heading into this week’s district opener.”
The victory pushed the Eagles season record to 5-1 and sets the stage for Friday night’s District 13-1A showdown with the Winters Blizzards. It should be interesting game as the Blizzards will bring their own 5-1 record into Eagle Stadium. Winters’ only loss of the season came last week against the #4 ranked Albany Lions.
Similarly, the Eagles only loss came the week before when they fell in Iraan to the #6 ranked Braves.
The Blizzards are led this year by quarterback Riley Shipley, who has completed 50 of 97 passes on the season for 695 yards and six touchdowns. Shipley is also a threat to run with 23 rushes on the year for 251 yards and one touchdown.
The Blizzards are returning 14 lettermen from last year’s squad which lost a 20-14 contest in the bi-district round to eventual state semi-finalist Haskell.
The Blizzards offense also features running back Christian Sandoval who has carried 60 times this year for 393 yards and six TDs. Sandoval can also catch the ball out of Winters multiple set offense, having hauled in six touchdown passes this year.
The scouting book on Winters says they will try to control the clock on offense while using their defensive speed to try and counter the Eagles high-powered rushing attack. Defensively, the Blizzards are led by linebacker Angel Barron and lineman Justin Trevino.
Meanwhile, the Eagles offense will be led by senior signal caller Jaymie O’Harrow. The Warbirds are paced on the ground by Rudy Sanchez who has carried the ball 74 times for 893 yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, linebackers Miles Mikeska and Josh Jurecek are the team’s leading tacklers, averaging just over six solo tackles per game.
The Eagles have scored 185 points on the season while allowing only 54 on the way to five victories, including three shut-outs.
District 13-1A also includes the Reagan County Owls as well as the defending state champion and current #2 ranked Goldthwaite Eagles. The #5 ranked Mason Punchers are also in the district. Eldorado, Winters, and Reagan County were picked in a virtual deadlock in preseason polls to claim the district’s third playoff spot.
While neither the Eagles nor their coaches are conceding the games with Goldthwaite and Mason, the importance of Friday’s game with Winters cannot be overstated.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Eagle Stadium and everyone is encouraged to come out and support the Eagles. Remember to wear your Green and be loud.
For those who can’t make it to the game, Mason Vaughan and Kerry Joy will be broadcasting live from Eagle Stadium on KLDE 104.9 FM. Their pregame show is slated for 7 p.m.