Stakes were high at R.E. McKee Stadium in Central El Paso on the campus of Austin High with the much-anticipated Battle of the Claw matchup between the El Paso High Tigers and Austin Panthers.
The Tigers and Panthers each only had one loss in District 2-5A going into Friday’s matchup and they knew a win in the city’s most storied rivalries Friday night was a must if they wanted to remain in the district title race and the playoff picture as well.
With Austin having its most attended game this season, the hosting Panthers took advantage of the backing of their crowd. In the middle of the first quarter, Panther running back, Jayden Wilson, had the game’s first score with an 11-yard Touchdown run to make it 7-0, Austin.
It was a low-scoring first half until El Paso High’s Pedro Chavez had a 25-yard Touchdown reception with 4:30 left before halftime to make it 7-6, Austin, with a missed PAT.
On the following drive, the Panthers marched right down the field and ended the drive with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jayden Wilson to Sebastian Morales to give the Panthers the 14-6 advantage at halftime.
Wilson had some hard-fought runs throughout the game, including his next score – which was a 15-yard touchdown dash with a little over 2 minutes into the 3rd quarter to make it 21-6, Austin.
The Panthers were able to hold the Tigers and had pressure on them in the second half. With Austin obtaining the ball, once again, in the middle of the 3rd quarter, Austin showed they had some tricks up their sleeves, as Luis Fernandez was the last recipient of a reverse play and razzled and dazzled into the endzone for an 18-yard touchdown run to make it 28-6, Panthers.
The last score of the game came with a little over 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter when the Tigers were pushed deep in their own territory and their punter stepped on the line leading to a safety.
The Panthers were victorious by a score of 30-6, hoisting the Claw trophy for their energetic and supportive fans. Austin (5-3, 3-1) looks to keep their momentum alive, as they play a key district matchup next Friday as they travel to play the Jefferson Silver Foxes.
The El Paso High Tigers (3-5, 2-2) look to bounce back next Friday, as they host a tough Andress Eagle team.
After the game Jayden Wilson talked about the big win:
Here’s what Panthers coach Eric Pichardo had to say:
Paul David Oliver Reporting