DRAGGING DEFENDERS WITH HIM -- Santiago Hernandez (2) kept running downfield even as a couple of Sonora Bronco defenders tried to drag him to the ground during the Eagles opening drive on  Friday, September 24th. Eldorado defeated the Sonora Broncos 48-26  at Larry Mitchel Stadium which was packed with Homecoming fans who celebrated the victory. It was Eldorado’s firs win over Sonora since 1997. -- RANDY MANKIN | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS
DRAGGING DEFENDERS WITH HIM -- Santiago Hernandez (2) kept running downfield even as a couple of Sonora Bronco defenders tried to drag him to the ground during the Eagles opening drive on Friday, September 24th. Eldorado defeated the Sonora Broncos 48-26 at Larry Mitchel Stadium which was packed with Homecoming fans who celebrated the victory. It was Eldorado’s firs win over Sonora since 1997. -- RANDY MANKIN | THE ELDORADO SUCCESS

The Eldorado Eagles defeated the Sonora Broncos 48-26 in front of a standing-room-only Homecoming crowd on Friday, September 24th at Larry Mitchel Stadium in Eldorado. Those in attendance also saw EHS seniors Jonathan McGee and Yatzari Narvaez crowned as the 2021 EHS Homecoming King and Queen during a ceremony held just before the two teams took the field.

Cooper Meador caught five passes for 120 yards and four touchdowns as he helped lead the Eagles to their first win over the Broncos since 1997. Meador also scored a two-point conversion for the Warbirds as he accounted for 26 of the Eagles 48 points.

Eagles quarterback Korbin Covarrubiaz was rock solid again this week. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 277 yards, five touchdowns and he ran for a TD. He also carried in a two-point conversion and led the Eagles in tackles with six solo stops and seven assists.

The win also serves to avenge the Eagles 2020 loss to the Broncos in a double overtime game played in Bronco Stadium.

The Eagles received the opening kickoff and took just less than two minutes to drive the length of the field. Meador caught a 17-yd touchdown pass from Covarrubiaz to put Eldorado on the scoreboard.

The two teams traded possessions before Sonora found the end zone on a five-yard run by Hunter O’Banon to tie the score at 6-6.

Covarrubiaz struck again just over a minute later, this time on a 43-yard bomb to Meador that gave the Eagles a 12-6 lead with 0:05 left in the first quarter.

But, after the teams swapped ends of the field to begin the second quarter, Sonora responded quickly, and scored on a 65-yard Jaimie Buitron TD pass with 11:07 remaining in half. The Broncos made good on their two-point conversion try to take the lead at 14-12.

The teams traded scores throughout the first half with the Eagles taking a 26-20 lead with 1:04 left in the half on an 18 yard touchdown pass from Covarrubiaz to Meador. The pair teamed up again to make good on the two-point conversion sending the Eagles into the field house at halftime with a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the night.

“They’re a good football team,” Eagles Head Coach Jon Long said of the Broncos. “They were pretty physical in the first half and we were kind of getting up field on defense instead of taking better angles, but we were able to fix that and make an adjustment on offense to take advantage of the coverage they were giving us.”

One of those adjustments paid off late in the third quarter when Jason Covarrubiaz slipped unnoticed through the Bronco secondary and was wide open when his cousin Korbin Covarrubiaz let fly a 43-yard touchdown strike. The quarterback ran in the two-point conversion to give the Eagles a 34-20 lead at the 1:47 mark in the third stanza.

“I was super proud of how we played in the second half,” Coach Long said after the game. “Our offensive line stepped it up a little bit because they were giving us a good rush at the time and stunting quite a bit and throwing things at us that we really haven’t seen a whole lot yet.”

The Eagles notched up yet another touchdown late in the third quarter when Meador hauled in a 32-yard pass from Covarrubiaz just as time expired on the quarter. The two-point try failed and Eldorado led 40-20 as the fourth quarter began.

The Broncos managed one last TD on a 35-yard pass from Buitron and pulled within two scores of the Eagles with 9:40 left in the game. But Eldorado erased all doubt with a James Kimble interception with 6:24 left to play. He then carried the ball in on a three-yard TD run. Covarrubiaz ran in the two-point conversion to give the Eagles a 48-26 lead.

Damian Romo intercepted a pass late in the game to end Sonora’s hopes of a last minute TD.

Covarrubiaz not only led the Eagles passing and running attack, he was also the game’s leading tackler. Other offensive leaders included Meador with four touchdown receptions, Jason Covarrubiaz with a TD catch, James Kimble with six carries for 50 yards and a TD.

Damian Romo gained 35 yards on four catches. He also intercepted a pass to end Sonora’s last ditch effort to score with only 56 seconds left on the clock.

“The team has come a long way from where they were when we started the season,” Coach Long said of Friday night’s game. “Defensively we saw really good effort that got even better in the second half. Santiago played very well, so did Sam Griffin, Austin Kotsch and Braxton Elias. Our whole team really, offense and defense.”

The Eagles will enjoy a bye week as they prepare to open the District 14-2A schedule against the Miles Bulldogs in Miles on Friday, October 8th.

The Eagles will carry a 4-0 record in to district play having outscored their opponents 218-113 this season. The chance for a fifth win in non-district play went away when the Winters Blizzards canceled the second game of the season due to a COVID-19 outbreak in Winters.

Still, the Warbirds have caught the eye of football gurus across the state who have ranked them in the top 10 of the statewide polls. The computerized MaxPreps rankings list the Eagles at #6 this week while Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine has the Eagles ranked at #8 and the Harris poll lists Eldorado at #7.