Ryan Estrada rushed for 255 yards, including an explosive 82-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to lead the Aztecs to a 35 to 27 victory over the Parkland Matadors in front of a capacity crowd at Matador Stadium.
The Aztecs and Matadors exchanged punts on the first three opening drives. The Matadors struck first with 9:48 remaining in the second quarter with a 27-yard run by Anthony Carrillo. The Aztecs answered on the next drive with a 20-yard Estrada touchdown reception. The Aztecs recovered an onsides kick on the ensuing kickoff, but the drive stalled on a missed field goal. The Matadors took full advantage on the following drive when senior wide receiver T.J. Crest found the end zone on a 48-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Erick Ortiz. Parkland missed the extra point and led 13 to 7 with 4:55 remaining in the second quarter.
Both teams turned on the offensive firepower in the second half.
The Aztecs found the end zone halfway through the third quarter after a drive that began on their own 14 yard line. Senior wide receiver Devin Rubio caught a 23-yard pass for a touchdown with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter. The Matadors wasted little time in answering on the following drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by Carrillo. A Matador interception by Erick Gallegos ended the following Aztec drive which led to a 16-yard touchdown catch by Adrian Lopez with 2:46 remaining in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to the El Dorado Aztecs.
Estrada found the end zone early in the fourth quarter on a one yard touchdown run, pulling the Aztecs within six points. Following an Aztec interception, El Dorado took the lead on the very next play, a 51-yard run by Estrada. Penalties marred the following Matador drive which stalled on the Aztec 42 yard line. The Matador defense rose to the occasion on the ensuing drive with a quarterback sack by senior safety Andre Johnson.
On the following drive, the Matadors kept the ball on the ground. With 2:23 remaining in the game and trailing 28 to 27 (recall the missed extra point in the first half), Parkland was well within striking distance on the Aztec 18 yard line. The drive stalled on an Aztec interception. Estrada slammed the door on the Matadors on the very next play, an 82-yard dash for a touchdown.
Estrada led the Aztecs with 255 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. Carrillo led the Matadors with 125 yards and T.J. Crest had 8 receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Adams Reporting