The El Paso-area high school football season got off to a rousing start Thursday night, as the El Dorado Aztecs took on their inter-SISD rivals the Pebble Hills Spartans.
In the arena known as the SAC – Student Activities Center – the Spartans quickly jumped out to a lead, with their defense preventing the Aztecs from striking gold until late in the game.
Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there, and brings you his view of the contest in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
In a battle between two of SISD’s – and the Borderland’s – top football teams, Pebble Hills and El Dorado, 4 quarters of football action was just enough to settle the newfound rivalry.
The game, which was a barn-burner for the second half featured a remarkable comeback by the Spartans that was cut short by the play of the Aztecs.
Our very own Andres Acosta was there, and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
The second oldest high school in the Socorro Independent School District took on the newest, and it was a battle to remember.
The upstart Pebble Hills Spartans had a target painted on their inter-district rival Montwood Rams Friday night, but the blue and green-clad Rams would have nothing of it, besting the Spartans 49-46 at the SAC.
Our very own Andres Acosta was there and we bring you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
Going into their first 1-6A district game this season, Pebble Hills wanted to avenge last season’s 53-28 loss to the Franklin Cougars, and they wanted to answer any questions regarding how they would do against a district opponent.
Opening with a three-possession-lead answered any questions, as the No. 2 Spartans dominated the Cougars 57-28 at Socorro ISD’s Student Activities Center (SAC) Friday night.
From the opening possession, the Spartans were able to start the game off on the right note, converting a 4th down with a 13-yard pass from Orlando Puig to Haredt Gonzalez; quickly putting them in the red zone.
Soon after, quarterback Christopher Beanes put the first points on the board with a 3-yard QB sneak. The defense then followed up by halting the Cougars offense, forcing a punt on 4th & 20.
The Spartans continued to move the ball down the field, as Orlando Puig connected with Kevin Averette on a 32-yard pass. Gonzalez then suffered an injury – a “hip pointer” – and was taken out of the game, but morale and discipline remained strong as Puig and running back Cameron Seabrook hooked up for a 6-yard touchdown, making it 14-0.
The Spartans used this momentum on their next defensive drive, as Deiontae Moore intercepted a tipped ball and gave the offense yet another chance to capitalize, which they did.
On the very next play, Averette scored via a 35-yard touchdown pass, bringing the Spartans to a comfortable 21-point lead. The Cougars however were able to score a 15-yard touchdown pass, making it 21-7 at the half.
For Pebble Hills, Puig ended the first half with 2 touchdowns and 206 yards.
The start of the second half rolled in favor of the visiting team, when Franklin’s quarterback Chris Kelley scored via a 3-yard run to trim the lead, 21-13.
It was apparent that adjustments were made at the half, but the Cougars could not stop the Spartans as the onslaught from the 1st half, continued in the second half of the game.
Puig was able to connect with Kevin Averette on a diagonal pass resulting in an 83-yard touchdown, much to the delight of the loud Spartan faithful, making the score 28-13. This created a new wave of confidence that flooded into the defense, allowing them to make yet another interception on a pivotal possession for Franklin.
Caleb Gerber then continued the offensive onslaught by punching in a 3-yard run making it 35-13.
The Spartans were on a hot streak on both sides of the ball. Juan Santiago and Jonas Christmas both recovered fumbles and converted the turnovers to points by running them all the back to the end zone.
Defensively, the Spartans have been solid all year, but offensively, certain possessions showcased an offense hitting stride. For the first time this season, the Cougars allowed more than 50 points.
“We had defensive scores, and those are hustle plays, those are not shove it in your face run up the score type of plays,” head coach Mark Torres said. “We were not looking to run up the score on Franklin, we were simply looking for a win.We were disciplined, we made explosive plays, we prevented explosive plays against us, we checked off all the boxes this week, and this is what happens when you check all the boxes off.”
Coach added that starting off district with a win at home is imperative, when it comes to clinching a playoff berth.
“It feels great to get a district win, and those are not easy to come by,” Torres said. “I’m excited about the way it happened, our kids had a lot of fun tonight.”
The Spartans (4-0, 1-0 in district) go on the road to take on Coronado Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. Coronado is fresh off a 36-15 win against Americas, and has won consecutive games entering the contest.
Words: Matthew Thomas / Photo: Hannah Aguilar | To view a gallery of the game, click here.
On a night featuring two unbeaten teams, the Pebble Hills Spartans took another positive step forward defeating the No. 2 Chapin Huskies 31-14 at Tony Shaw Field.
Chapin’s senior quarterback, Anthony Baird, who was expected to continue his stellar performance; leading his team in both rushing yards and passing yards, which were on average 93 yards more than Pebble Hills, was shut down.
The Spartan defense defied the statistics, holding the Huskies offense to zero points the entire first and fourth quarter.
The Spartans started the game off strong, gaining yards on every play of their first offensive drive. Orlando Puig came in clutch late in the drive, completing an 11-yard pass on a fourth down conversion to his favorite target of the season, Haredt Gonzalez, who helped put the team in the red zone.
The Spartans struck first via a 5-yard run by junior running back Caleb Gerber.
The defense for the Spartans showed their dominance early by forcing the Huskies to turn the ball over twice, and not allowing the Huskies to put points on the board.
Senior Juan Santiago made a big play on fourth down when he sacked Baird; causing a turnover on downs. The momentum was in favor of the road team, and they looked to capitalize early.
The Spartans continued to maintain control of the game, scoring a 9-yard field goal on their first offensive drive of the second quarter, making it 10-0.
The Huskies defense made their first statement of the game when they intercepted the ball during the second quarter. They would capitalize soon after by completing a 15-yard touchdown pass on the first play after the interception, bringing the score to 10-7.
After a series of questionable calls and penalties that were called on the Spartan defense, senior Kevin Esquivel turned the tide.
Esquivel recovered a fumble on the 20-yard line in Spartan territory and ran it all way back to the house, bringing the score to 17-7.
“It put us further up in the score and made us want to push harder,” Esquivel said.
The crowd went wild and coach Cortez even mentioned that the Huskies messed with the wrong team.
But the momentum didn’t stop there, as corner Jailyn Spires made an impressive interception on the Huskies first offensive play after the fumble late in the first half.
“It gave everybody a lot of energy,” Spires said. “We have been working too hard for this. We came in thinking we were going to win, but keep it humble and let them do the talking.”
The Spartans kept the ball rolling in the second half, forcing the Huskies to punt on the first offensive drive of the half. Puig then connected with Justin Wolfe via a 9-yard touchdown pass, making it 24-7.
The Huskies were able to score soon after on a 25 yard touchdown pass, making it a two possession game at 24-14.
However, the Huskies defense was not capable of stopping the motivated Spartans, allowing Christopher Beanes to score a 2-yard touchdown, making it 31-14. The Spartans then added a cherry on top of t when they recovered an onside kick, allowing them to run down the clock and defeat the Huskies, 31-14.
The Spartans (3-0) are on a hot streak and want to continue to improve on both sides of the ball as they enter their bye week. That extra week of preparation comes ahead of a showdown with the Franklin Cougars to the SISD Student Activities Complex Sept. 29 at 4:00p. m.
By Matthew Thomas – Special to the Herald-Post
Socorro’s SAC featured two unbeaten teams Thursday night, with Pebble Hills hosting the Andress Eagles. Looking to avenge a loss to the Eagles last year, the Spartans started off slowly, but gained momentum as the game progressed.
While the Eagles had the early lead, Pebble Hills played determined football, overcame a couple of errors and eventually went on to a 34 to 13 win over Andress.
The Spartans entered week two with extra motivation, after predictions of an eight point loss at quickly vanished as they dominated the Andress Eagles 34-13 at the SISD Student Activities Complex (SAC) Thursday night.
Additionally, for the first time in school history, the Pebble Hills Spartans won back-to-back games, both in convincing fashion.
In a defensive statement, the Spartans were able to ground the Eagles; only allowing them six points the entire second half. Andress previously scored 65 points versus Hanks in week one.
The game opened in favor of the Eagles, when Jalen Jospeh scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter. Pebble Hills then answered by scoring a miraculous touchdown via pass from Orlando Puig that was intended for Kevin Averette, but was tipped and caught by Haredt Gonzalez, tying the game at 7-7.
Junior running back Caleb Gerber gave the Spartans the first lead via a 2-yard run before the end of the first half.
After turning the ball over three consecutive times to start the second half, head coach Mark Torres assured his team that they would do better if they worked together.
“It was just a lack of focus or they were just trying to do too much,” Torres said. “We addressed that as coaches.” Torres mentioned to his players that they had to be better teammates.
Senior Anthony Sapien recovered a fumble and ran it all the way back to score his first touchdown of the year; extending the lead, 28-13.
“We just came together as a team,” Anthony Sapien said. “We learned we have the chemistry together, we counted on another and we never gave up.”
With the Spartan’s defense improving on each down, the Eagles failed put forth a successful drive. Senior Kevin Esquivel made a statement for the entire defense, when he recorded a sack on fourth down; putting the Spartans in scoring position.
Puig and Gonzalez then connected on touchdown to put the Spartans up, 34-13.
The Spartans (2-0) open up the road portion of their schedule in a non-conference game against the Chapin Huskies Friday September 15 at 7 p.m.
Authors: Ariel Castillo and Matthew Thomas – Pebble Hills High Reporters/Special to the Herald-Post
The Pebble Hills Spartans set the tone early on and cruised past the Irvin Rockets in their season opener at Socorro Independent School District’s Student Activities Complex 55 to 7.
Only three minutes into the game, the Spartans struck first via a 6-yard touchdown run by Junior Caleb Gerber, who attributed the Spartan’s success running the ball to the entire team.
“Scoring the first touchdown was not just me, it was the whole team,” Gerber said. “It was the o-line, my quarterback, my receivers blocking. It was not that important to me.”
Then it was the defense’s turn, as in their first series, the Spartans forced a fumble and regained possession. The offense quickly returned to the field, allowing Orlando Puig to connect to Justin Wolfe on a 5-yard touchdown pass, making it 14-0.
Quarterback Christopher Beanes was brought in to try out a different offensive package, and he made his presence felt by scoring two touchdowns for the Spartans.
The Rockets had no answer to the Spartans offensive onslaught, conceding 41 points in the first half. The Spartans kept their opponents scoreless until the third quarter, when the Rockets scored their only touchdown of the game.
“Everybody was excited to play this game,” head coach Mark Torres said. “We executed what we planned to do.” According to Torres, there is much to improve for next week.
“Nothing is ever perfect, we have plenty to look at,” Torres said. “We will address all of the needs and make the adjustments to get ready for Andress.
The Spartans (1-0) will take on the visiting Andress Eagles Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Socorro Independent School District Student Activities Complex.
Author: Matthew Thomas | Photo by Audrie Aguilar