UPLIFTING VICTORY
Emiliano “Big E” Hernandez lifts Korbin Covarrubiaz into the air after he scored on a 40-yard TD pass from Kevan Covarrubiaz during the second quarter of the Eldorado Eagles 47-6 win over the TLCA Eagles at Lake View Stadium in San Angelo on Friday, August 30, 2019.  --  MANDI UMPHRESS | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS
UPLIFTING VICTORY Emiliano “Big E” Hernandez lifts Korbin Covarrubiaz into the air after he scored on a 40-yard TD pass from Kevan Covarrubiaz during the second quarter of the Eldorado Eagles 47-6 win over the TLCA Eagles at Lake View Stadium in San Angelo on Friday, August 30, 2019. -- MANDI UMPHRESS | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS

The Eldorado Eagles scored early and often as they cruised to a 47-6 season-opening victory over TLC Academy at Lake View Stadium in San Angelo on Friday, August 30, 2019.

“I was very proud of how our team played against TLCA Friday night,” Eagles Head Coach Michael Johnson said after the game. “There are still a lot of things that we need to work on and be more consistent at, but I felt the kids saw how explosive and forceful they can be when they execute the way we are capable of.”

TLCA hurt themselves early in the game when they won the opening coin toss and chose to put their defense on the field first. Eagles quarterback Kevan Covarrubiaz connected with his brother Kobrin on the first play of the game to move the ball deep into TLCA territory. Then, on the second play of the game, Covarrubiaz connected with Cooper Meador for a 15-yard TD pass.

What followed next will be the talk of West Texas of a long time to come. That’s when percussionist Jonathan McGee, who played quads for the Mighty Eagle Band throughout the game, came onto the field to kick the extra point, giving the Eagles a 7-0 at the 11:31 mark in the opening quarter.

McGee made all five of his extra-point attempts for the night and handled kickoff duties for the Warbirds. Kicking off late in the third quarter, McGee lifted a pooch kick over TLCA’s front line of defenders. The ball settled into an open area of the field where it was recovered by Kayden Rodriguez for the Eagles.

Covarrubiaz completed 18 of 28 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns, including three to his brother Korbin.

For his part, Korbin Covarrubiaz caught nine passes for 257 yards and three TDS. He also threw a touchdown pass of his own when he took over at quarterback in the fourth quarter and connected with Santiago Hernandez on a 16-yard pass and catch for the final TD of the game.

The Eagles attacked TLCA primarily through the air, but mixed it up a bit with seven different players carrying the ball. Marco Martinez was the leading rusher for the Eagles with 24 yards on 14 carries.

“Our O-line protected well and I thought they did a great job overall of adjusting to the changes that TLCA made,” Coach Johnson said. “Our backs did a tremendous job, but still have some stuff to clean up in our pass protection. I thought Kevan did a great job of taking what the defense was giving him, and I was very pleased with how well our receivers ran routes and caught the ball.” I would like to have converted a few more of the shots that we took deep, but now we know where we can focus a little more of our attention. I think we had something like 9 different kids touch the ball and all of them seemed to move and make plays with the ball in their hands which was good to see in game situations. I definitely want to see us improve on third down situations when we’re in them. We hit a bunch of explosive plays this last week which fired me up, but I want to see us more consistent in converting on third down.

Eldorado managed 457 all purpose yards while TLCA gained only 188.

Coach Johnson said he was proud of the way his players recognized and adapted to what TLCA was doing early in the game.

“They came out aggressively on defense early and made some adjustments we had not seen on film of their other two scrimmages,” Johnson said. “I felt the kids handled it well. Kevan picked it up early and hit Korbin for a shot on that first play and gave us some big momentum right out the gate.”

The Eagles defense was impressive, too, swarming to the ball and otherwise playing havoc with TLCA’s offensive game plan.

Eric Reyes was the leading tackler for the Warbirds with four solo stops, four assists, a quarterback sack and two tackles for loss. Edgar Muniz also came up big on the defensive side of the ball. Muniz tallied three solo tackles, four assists, a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss.

Coach Johnson was pleased with his team’s defensive effort. “I thought Coach Robledo did a great job of sending pressure at the right times and our kids did a great job of executing it,” Johnson said.

He went on to note that TLCA had several chances early in the game. “It felt like they had about 15 straight plays down in the red zone, but our defense made a tremendous stand!” Johnson said. “Eric, Jaakan, Edgar, Big E, Hariman, and Elias all stood out on that drive and then Korbin came up big that interception in the end zone.”

Korbin Covarrubiaz did indeed intercept a pass about three yards deep in the end zone. What appeared at first to be a 103-yard interception return for a touchdown, was brought back into Eagle territory on a penalty that Coach Johnson referred to Tuesday as an “alleged block in the back.”

Looking ahead, the Eagles will be facing the Winters Blizzards and Coach Johnson says the Eagles will be working to become more consistent, especially on third downs, in hopes of repay the Blizzards for the loss the Eagles suffered last year at Old Bobcat Stadium in San Angelo.

“Just like last year, Winters has a good team and we will need to show up and play some good football,” Johnson said. “Their QB is a really good athlete as well as one of their slots. Their fullback plays really hard and their O-line has Duggan returning. He is one of the better linemen in the area, in my opinion.”