With the Bi-District round of the playoffs underway for many schools from the Sun City, certainly one of the most anticipated was Amarillo Tascosa versus El Dorado. The game featured two high-scoring offensive teams, but it was the physical play of Tascosa that would out-muscle the Aztecs 66 to 40.
“It’s always good to get a win, particularly over a very quality football team. I think El Dorado is probably the best offense we’ve played all
year, certainly the most explosive,” Tascosa head coach, Kenneth Plunk said. “I think we’re physically strong, that’s one of the things we pride ourselves on.”
The Rebels had a 38-13 lead midway through the second quarter after 21-unanswered points, but El Dorado would not be put away that easily.
The Aztecs faced a fourth and goal situation from their own four-yard line with just over three minutes left in the first half.
Quarterback Austyn Hill would roll out to hit Mario Puig for the score to cut the Rebels lead, 38-20.
As time expired, the Rebels attempted a 43-yard field goal that would fall short and give El Dorado’s Jorge Hernandez an opportunity to return the kick.
Hernandez would do just that, going 105 yards for the touchdown for a 38-28 halftime score.
“I think we responded well coming out on the second half,” Plunk said. “We kicked the ball and it got returned for the touchdown, I was really nervous coming out in the second half we would have some struggles and we nearly did, because they went down the field and we were fortunate enough they turned it over.”
The Aztecs had momentum heading into the second half and would begin the third quarter with a promising drive only to be stalled by a Sergio Rodriguez fumble.
Tascosa would take advantage of the turnover and increase their lead by 17.
Hill would find Hernandez for a 41-yard touchdown play, but after a missed extra point the Rebels lead was left at 11. That would be the closest the Aztecs got the remainder of the night as the Rebels pulled away in the fourth quarter for the eventual 26-point victory.
The Rebels were helped by a committee of contributors, with over 10 different players touching the ball at one point, combining for over 400-rusing yards.
Tascosa remains undefeated on the road as they keep their playoff run alive to face Odessa Permian next week and sending the Aztecs home, but not after a successful 2015 campaign that leaves Head Coach James Althoff proud of his team’s efforts and looking forward to a promising 2016.
“Tonight not everything was going our way, but those kids never gave up, they fought like heck and we were playing a really well coached, physical football team” Althoff said.
The Aztecs will return many young players back to the program next season, giving Althoff optimism for what the feature holds and had a message for his seniors, a group he says he’s proud of.
“They made history for El Dorado high school, they will forever be remembered as the team that brought home the first district championship for our football program,” Althoff said. “They have to be so proud, I’m so proud of them and I love them all.”