Bel Air held Socorro to six points last week. That would not be the case this week against the Burges Mustangs and Tavorus Jones.
Jones ran for three touchdowns, senior wide receiver Ray Campos ran the opening kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown, and junior quarterback Andrew Routledge found the end zone twice as the Mustangs defeated the Bel Air Highlanders 56-38 before a spirited crowd at Bel Air Stadium.
The game started with a bang. Campos’ 98-yard touchdown return of the opening kickoff gave the Highlander faithful a taste of what was to unfold in the next three hours. However, the Highlanders answered back with a 50-yard touchdown reception by senior wide receiver Christian Baxter in Bel Air’s first drive. Perhaps things might have settled down at this point. Maybe that Highlander defense would throttle Jones and Company.
Not even close.
After turning the ball over on downs in consecutive drives by both teams, Jones found the end zone on a 45-yard run with 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Completely unfazed by the sudden Mustang offensive surge, the Highlanders responded with an explosive 80-yard touchdown run by Baxter with 4 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Burges would find the end zone again early in the second quarter, making the score 20-13. After turning the ball over on downs, the Highlander defense showed up in the subsequent drive, sacking Mustang quarterback Routledge with 9:00 remaining in the second quarter. The Mustang drive came up empty once again.
The Bel Air defense continued to dominate the second quarter of the contest. The Highlanders appeared to have stopped the Mustangs yet again but a roughing the passer penalty gave the ball back to Burges. The Mustangs had to settle for a 25-yard field goal with 7:29 remaining, ending a sloppy offensive drive marred by Burges penalties.
After stopping the Highlanders and forcing a punt with 4:29 remaining in the second quarter, the Mustang offense took over yet again. Bel Air managed to stop the Mustangs late in the half, but a Mustang interception led to a Tavorus Jones 10-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds remaining in the first half of play. The score at halftime was Burges 30, Bel Air 13.
Bel Air would get the first possession in the second half, culminating in a 9-yard touchdown run by senior running back Nicholas Chavarria. Both Chavarria and Jones would finish with more than 200 yards in the contest. In spite of the offensive explosion from two of El Paso’s most talented running backs, the third quarter was mostly ruled by the defensive squads of both teams. The only other score in the third quarter was a 15-yard touchdown scramble by sophomore quarterback Noah Moreno.
The fourth quarter turned into a Chavarria-Jones slugfest.
Burges QB Routledge found the end zone early in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard TD run making the score 36-26 Mustangs with 11:53 remaining. After Bel Air turned the ball over on downs in their first possession of the fourth quarter, the Mustang offense exploded yet again with a Jones 80-yard touchdown run with 10:07 remaining in the contest. Bel Air answered back on the ensuing drive with a 44-yard TD run by Chavarria with 9:43 remaining. A five-yard TD run by Burges senior running back Jesus Torres increased the Mustang lead to 50-32 with 6:24 remaining in the game. Chavarria eclipsed the 200-yard mark with a 50-yard touchdown with 5:31 remaining. This would be Bel Air’s final visit to the end zone as the Mustangs slammed the door late in the fourth quarter with a 35-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Ray Campos with 58 seconds remaining in the contest. Campos scored the first and final touchdowns in this Friday night track meet.
Final Score: Burges 56, Bel Air 38.