TAKIN’ IT TO THE HOUSE -- Kaden Rodriguez left Menard defender Kallin Kothmann behind and went to the end zone for Eldorado’s sixth TD of the night as the Eldorado Eagles blanked the Menard Yellowjackets 61-0 in Menard on Friday, November 1st. -- RANDY MANKIN | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS
TAKIN’ IT TO THE HOUSE -- Kaden Rodriguez left Menard defender Kallin Kothmann behind and went to the end zone for Eldorado’s sixth TD of the night as the Eldorado Eagles blanked the Menard Yellowjackets 61-0 in Menard on Friday, November 1st. -- RANDY MANKIN | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS

The Eldorado Eagles will host the Christoval Cougars Friday night as the two teams meet to decide the District 8-2A Championship.
Both teams are undefeated in district play, and they have each clinched a playoff berth. Friday night’s game is about more than bragging rights, though. The game will decide who the two teams will face in the opening round of the State 2A Playoffs. The winner will take on the fourth place team from District 7-2A, while the loser will face the third place team.

The Eagles come into the title game fresh off a 61-0 win over the Menard Yellowjackets on Friday, November 1st. So far, the Eagles have outscored their district opponents 173-0, and they appear to be peaking at just the right time.

The Eagles have begun to catch the attention of others around the state. They are ranked #10 in the Dave Cambell Texas Football editor’s poll. They are ranked #9 in the Harris poll and #10 in the Padilla poll.

ELDORADO 61 - MENARD 0

The Eagles’ high-powered scoring machine sputtered early against the Menard Yellowjackets on Friday, November 1st. Perhaps it was the cold weather that kept the engine from cranking, but when it finally sparked, the offense roared to life and the Warbirds coasted to a 61-0 victory.

All of Eldorado’s 61 points came in the span of less than two quarters of play, but only after the Warbirds turned the ball over twice. The first came on the opening kickoff return when Menard’s Jasper Salas stripped the ball away from Eldorado’s James Kimble. The second came when Cooper Meador signaled for a fair catch on high punt, but let it slip through his arms.

Eldorado’s defense brought its A-game right from the start and prevented the Yellowjackets from capitalizing on either of the miscues. And...when the offense found its legs in the second quarter, the defensive unit kept up the pressure and held Menard to a mere 92 yards of total offense.

Josh Jurecek led the defensive charge for the Eagles and tallied 10 total tackles, including three for loss. Edgar Muniz notched up seven tackles, including two for loss while Eric Reyes counted for nine total tackles. Other tackle totals included Elias Luna with eight, David Barajas with six, Garrett Hariman with six, Emiliano Hernandez and Korbin Covarrubiaz with four.

Korbin Covarrubiaz also intercepted a pass, deep in Eldorado territory to stymie a Menard scoring threat. The Eagles tallied a total of five takeaways in the game with Cooper Meador snagging an interception while David Barajas, Garret Hariman and Marcos Martinez each came away with a fumble recovery.

“Defensively, it was just a total team effort as everyone was flying to ball. Those guys have done great job throughout our district season and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Eagles Head Coach Michael Johnson said. “They are playing really good football ball right now and it is fun to watch. I know that they have some pretty big goals and we are preparing ourselves to go out and earn those.”

With the Eagles heavily favored in the game, it probably surprised a few people when the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.

“It started off a little rough as we made some mistakes early, but I was very proud of how we held together and didn’t break,” Johnson said “It is easy to be negative when things aren’t going your way, but our kids and coaches continued to keep their focus on the task at hand rather than the circumstances and it was a great lesson to learn.”

Things changed in a good way for the Warbirds half way through the second quarter. That’s when Kevan Covarrubiaz threw the first of six touchdown passes. He connected with his brother Korbin on a 16-yarder with 6:43 left in the first half. The extra-point try went wide and the score stood at 6-0.

What followed was a perfect storm of mistakes by the Yellowjackets and a whirlwind of scoring on the part of the Eagles. Covarrubiaz completed 16 of 23 passes in the game for 430 yards and six touchdowns.

Covarrubiaz connected with Cooper Meador on a 31-yard TD pass, then pitched the ball to his brother Korbin who tossed it back to Kevan in the corner of the end zone for a 2-point conversion. That gave the Warbirds a 14-0 lead with 2:45 remaining in the half.

With just over a minute remaining before the intermission, Covarrubiaz lofted a pass into the end zone where his brother Korbin leaped high over Yellowjacket defender Joel Guerrero to haul it in for a touchdown.. Jonathan McGee kicked the extra point to give the Eagles a 21-0 lead with 1:07 remaining before the half.

But, the Eagles weren’t done in the second quarter. Cooper Meador intercepted a Rito Lozano pass and returned it into Eagle territory. From there, Covarrubiaz again connected with his brother Korbin, this time on a 36-yard TD pass, that wowed the Eldorado fans, and deflated the Yellowjacket faithful. Korbin Covarrubiaz split a pair of Menard defenders, leaped high in the air while pivoting in the air for the reception. He then cradled the pigskin to his chest as he brought it down in the end zone.

This time, Jonathan McGee’s extra-point try was blocked, but the Eagles led 27-0 with 38 seconds left in the second quarter.

“Offensively, we were very explosive in the second and third quarters. Our receivers did a great job of catching the ball and finishing off runs as well as blocking downfield,” Johnson said. “I remember at one point in the third quarter watching Santiago and the O-line pass protect and give Kevan all the time he needed. I called Santiago over after we scored. At this point he hadn’t really had many touches, but he was doing such a great job of working with the O-line in pass protection that I told him how great it was to see him turning into a complete back.”

Jaakan Jurecek got the Eagles first TD of the second half when he gathered in a swing pass from Kevan Covarrubiaz and took it 64 yards to pay dirt. Covarrubiaz carried in the 2-point conversion and the Eagles led 35-0 with 9:38 left in the third stanza.

Jurecek tallied five catches on the night for 173 yards and the touchdown. Korbin Covarrubiaz had seven receptions for 184 yards and three TDs.

Kayden Rodriguez was up next on the Eagles touchdown carousel. He hauled in a pass from Covarrubiaz and took it 12 yards to the end zone. McGee added the extra-point and the Eagles led 42-0 with 6:27 remaining in the third quarter.

Santiago Hernandez then posted a pair of touchdowns, scoring from six yards out with 4:41 left in the third and on a 16-yard run with 3:44 remaining in the third stanza. McGee added the first extra point, but missed the second, and the Eagles led 55-0 as the quarter ended.

Marcos Martinez rounded out the scoring for the Warbirds with an 11-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. The extra-point try failed, but the Eagles had their 61-0 margin of victory with 10:28 remaining in the game.

The game was punctuated by miscues. Eldorado’s two fumbles came early, and didn’t adversely affect the outcome. Menard’s five turnovers directly impacted the game and afforded the Eagles several scoring opportunities, all of which they converted into points.

Then there were the officials who at time seemed bewildered. On one occasion, an official threw a flag, but assessed no penalty on the play. He then forgot to retrieve the yellow marker and it remained on the field until he was alerted by the Eagles coaching staff. Then, late in the third quarter, the officials flagged the Yellowjackets for a personal foul and ejected a Menard player from the contest. The zebras then forgot to mark off the 15-yard penalty. When Eldorado coaches pointed it out to line judge, he halted play as Menard’s offense was set to run another play.

DISTRICT TITLE GAME

The Christoval Cougars are undefeated this season. They will come to town on Friday night looking for a repeat of last year’s final game of the regular season when they defeated Eldorado 30-39 at Jack Pardee Stadium in Christoval.

“Christoval is a good football team. They obviously have a talented quarterback who does a lot of good things for them,” Coach Johnson said.

The Cougars like to throw the ball and spread the field on offense. Defensively, they present a 4-2-5 multiple front.

“I know that our kids are extremely excited to be playing for the district championship at home this Friday night,” Coach Johnson said.

Everyone is encouraged to come out and support the Eagles on Friday night as they host the Cougars at Larry Mitchel Stadium. It will be Senior Night, so come early to cheer on you favorite senior football player, band member or cheerleader as they take the field for the final time in front of the home crowd.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m., so come out and support the Warbirds! Remember to wear you GREEN and be LOUD!