EAGLES SWARM TO THE BALL -- Garrett Hariman (79) wraps up a Wheeler Mustang runner as Korbin Covarrubiaz (4) drags him down by the jersey during the Eldorado Eagles’ Area Round playoff game with Wheeler on Friday, November 22nd in Levelland. The Eagles offense never sparked and Wheeler was off and running to a 65-13 win. -- RANDY MANKIN | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS
EAGLES SWARM TO THE BALL -- Garrett Hariman (79) wraps up a Wheeler Mustang runner as Korbin Covarrubiaz (4) drags him down by the jersey during the Eldorado Eagles’ Area Round playoff game with Wheeler on Friday, November 22nd in Levelland. The Eagles offense never sparked and Wheeler was off and running to a 65-13 win. -- RANDY MANKIN | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS

The Eldorado Eagles’ 2019 season came to an end Friday, November, 22nd at Lobo Stadium in Levelland as they fell to the Wheeler Mustangs 65-13.

Turnovers doomed the Eagles as they gave the ball back to the Mustangs multiple times. Kevan Covarrubiaz threw five interceptions as Eldorado attempted to come from behind. The Eagles also gave the ball away on a fumble and miscues on kickoff returns plagued Eldorado throughout the game. The Mustangs routinely kicked the ball high and short to the right side of the field and, even with the front and second rows of Eagle return team being told to call for a fair catch, Wheeler managed to recover three that could equally qualify as onside kicks or fumbles.

Nothing clicked for the Eagles from the start and Wheeler turned away a couple of Eagle scoring threats in the first quarter. Then the dam burst and the Mustangs went on a scoring spree. Wheeler went up 6-0 with 21 seconds left in the opening stanza. By the time the quarter was over, Wheeler led 14-0. The Mustangs even scored on defense when they trapped Covarrubiaz in the end zone for a safety.

Santiago Hernandez caught a pass over the middle and took it to the Wheeler one-foot line. Covarrubiaz dove into the end zone to put the Eagles on the board. Jonathan McGee’s extra-point made the score 14-7 with 11:17 remaining in the second quarter. Wheeler scored a few seconds later and the Mustang deluge continued with Eldorado trailing 35-7 at the half.

Covarrubiaz connected again with Hernandez in the fourth quarter on an 18-yard touchdown pass, but by that time, Wheeler was leading 58-13 with 9:49 left to play.
Wheeler scored once again before time expired, making the final score 65-13.

A large contingent of Eagle fans made the trip to Levelland and stayed to the end to cheer on the Warbirds, even as it became apparent early on that it would not be Eldorado’s night.

“Things didn’t go our way on Friday, and I’ll just leave it at that,” Eagles Head Coach Michael Johnson said on Monday. “I am very proud of the team and what they accomplished this year.”

The Eagles managed 204 yards of total offense but Wheeler compiled 387 yards of offense. Eldorado got most of its yards through the air while the Mustangs racked up 294 yards rushing.

Eldorado converted only two of eight third down attempts. Wheeler didn’t do much better, moving the sticks on four of 11 third downs.
The loss ended the Eagles 2019 season with a 10-2 record. Wheeler, also 10-2 on the year will now move on to take on the Hamlin Pied Pipers in the 2A Regional semifinal game.

Despite the season-ending loss, the Eagles had an impressive season in 2019 as they went 9-1 in regular season play, winning several of them in blowout fashion.
The District 8-2A season was abbreviated by the departure of the Irion County Hornets as they moved down to play 6-man football, but the Eagles managed a 4-0 record in loop play, culminating with a 14-7 win over the Christoval Cougars at Larry Mitchel Stadium for the District Championship.

Kevan Covarrubiaz threw for 2,357 yards and 21 touchdowns on the season. He also rushed for 675 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Santiago Hernandez was Eldorado’s leading rusher with 947 regular-season yards and 12 touchdowns on 112 carries from the line of scrimmage. He also tallied 212 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver.

Korbin Covarrubiaz led the Eagle receiving corps with 42 receptions for 839 yards and nine TDs.

Jaakan Jurecek caught 24 passes from the tight end position for 557 yards and five TDs.

Defensively, the Warbirds fielded one of its strongest teams in years with linebacker Eric Reyes leading the way with 106 total tackles on the season including 10 tackles for loss. Other defensive leaders included Jaakan Jurecek with 80 total tackles, including 19 for loss, and David Barajas with 70 total tackles including three for loss.

Cooper Meador paced the Eagles in the takeaway department with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. In all, the Eagles tallied an impressive 15 interceptions, with 221 yards gained on the returns, and 15 fumble recoveries.

Looking ahead, the Eagles will graduate several of their standout players, but an impressive number of underclassmen gained valuable playing time this season and blossomed into leaders.

“Building upon the foundation that has been laid is our goal,” Coach Johnson said. “It was great to see our senior class have a lot of success this year and show the future generation of Eagles what they too are capable of if they commit to the process, be each other’s brother keeper, and consistently come and work hard every day.”