Friday night’s matchup at Allan Sepkowitz Stadium in the northeast of El Paso featured arguably the two best teams in District 2-5A – the Austin Panthers and Andress Golden Eagles.
Each team knew that a victory is a must for a possibility of the district title. Both teams brought high-powered teams to the field.
With less than 2 minutes into the game, the Golden Eagles proved just that. The Eagles had an Elias Duncan pass to Jeremiah Cooper who bolted past all Panther defenders for 84 yards on his first reception of the game into the end zone to put the Eagles up, 7-0.
The Panthers answered back with 3:56 left in the opening quarter, as Austin’s Jayden Wilson picked off Duncan and ran it back for a score to tie the game, 7-7.
With under 2 minutes remaining in the 1st Quarter, Andress’ Duncan connected with Cooper, once again, for a spectacular 52-yard one-handed Touchdown catch that left everyone in the stadium in disbelief and put the Eagles back in the lead, 13-7.
The 2nd Quarter was mainly controlled by what the Panthers are best known for – the run. Austin was able to eat most of the clock in the 2nd Quarter with short, but stable runs that kept the ball and clock running. The 1st half ended with the Eagles in the lead, 13-7.
The 3rd Quarter remained more of a defensive battle and fast-paced. The sole score of the 3rd Quarter came with 2:07 left when Andress QB, Elias Duncan, snuck into the end zone with a 1-yard QB sneak to make it 20-7, Andress.
With Austin down by 2 possessions, they attempted to pass a bit more, but Jeremiah Cooper of Andress had an answer for that as well as he picked off the Panthers and ran it back for a Pick 6 to make it 27-7, Andress, with 9:20 remaining in the game.
With the Panthers still attempting the pass game, Andress’ Charlie Bass had a Pick 6 of his own with 4:39 left in the game to make it, 34-7, Eagles.
The final score of the game came when Austin’s Theodore Jones had a hard-fought 4-yard TD run with 2:34 left.The Eagles came out of Friday night’s game victorious, 34-14.
Next Friday the Eagles (4-1, 2-0) will host the Bel Air Highlanders. The Panthers (2-3, 0-1) will look to end their 3-game losing streak and obtain their first district victory, as they will host the Burges Mustangs next Friday.
After the game Jeremiah Copper talked about the win
Here’s what Eagles Coach Chris Taylor had to say
Paul David Oliver Reporting