With a packed house, the excitement of football being fully back, a heavyweight battle commenced at trooper stadium.
Both offenses struggled to start the game. A couple of 3 and outs from both sides lead to a slow beginning. Parkland would find it’s groove on the ground and mixed in a few deep throws. Isaiah Beasley for the Matadors would strike first from 6 yards out.
The ensuing drive for the Troopers would be a powerful response. Andrew Martínez would find his favorite target Isaiah Pena for a 68 yard catch and run. Eastwood would tie it up.
Both teams would have costly turnovers on momentum filled drives. Eastwood fumbled inside the red zone, Parkland would throw an interception right after crossing midfield. Mental errors would present itself throughout the first half which led to punts and costly yards.
DJ Crest would break the deadlock tie with a big jump ball catch and run of 56 yards to go up 14-7. He wouldn’t be done and would snatch up another 40 yard bomb out of the sky. Parklands drive would stall right before halftime on a missed field goal from about 28 yards out.
Parkland still had momentum going into halftime. However Eastwood is a 2nd half team just like in previous years.
Parkland would start the half with the possession. The Matadors would get inside the 20 yard line but would throw an interception giving the ball and momentum back to Eastwood. The Troopers would March down and cap the drive off with an Andrew Martínez 4 yard run. The game would see its second tie of the game.
On the kickoff parkland would fumble back to Eastwood. Once again Andrew Martínez would show off his scramble skills and run another touchdown in from 11 yards out. The Troop would start to control the game after 14 unanswered points.
Late into the 3rd quarter parkland would put together a solid drive on the ground getting back into the redzone. Isaiah Beasley would find the end zone for the second time in the game. This time from 12 yards out, however the extra point would be missed. Parkland would trail by one.
Eastwood wouldn’t waste anytime. Isaiah Pena and Andrew Martínez would put the Troop at the 15 yard line in less than 4 plays. Pena would get a 35 yard reception and Martínez would get a 10 yard run. After a false start penalty, Andrew Martínez would find Aaron Rodriguez for a 20 yard touchdown reception with just 2 minutes left in the 3rd. Eastwood would go up 8.
Parklands DJ Crest would make his appearance again. Winning yet another double team jump ball for 42 yards to finish the 3rd quarter. Crest’s ability to pinpoint the ball mid air facing a double team 3 times during the night was incredible. The 4th time would be denied by Curtis Murillo, he would grab his second interception in the end zone ending parklands drive.
Aaron Rodriguez would go on to make an amazing one handed catch to put Eastwood over midfield. Eastwood would look to extend its lead over parkland. The Troopers would march inside the 1 yard line before Andrew Martínez would punch it in again. That would give him 3 touchdowns on the ground and two through the air. The QB would be responsible in some way for all 35 Trooper points.
DJ Crest and Isaiah Beasley wouldn’t go away quietly. Crest would once again win a jump ball this time tripled team. Parkland would be set up at the 18 yard line in striking distance. DJ Crest would be called on two more times but both would be dropped and one would be a penalty for offsides.
Fourth down from the 13 yard line would 6 minutes to go, it would possibly be Parklands last chance to comeback on Eastwood. A wide open Dante Lewis would be under thrown and Eastwood would claim possession and attempt to burn clock.
The drive would chew a little bit of clock before stalling out with 2:45 left in the game, Parkland would get some time to work some magic. However the Matadors would keep the ball on the ground minimizing the risk of injury, trying to end on a positive note heading into next week.
Here’s what Troopers Coach Julio Lopez said after the game
Christian Molinar Reporting