Eastwood junior quarterback Evan Minjarez tossed two touchdowns and senior wideout Curtis Murillo returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown as the Eastwood Troopers defeated the Americas Trailblazers 20 to 19 at Trooper Stadium.
The Trailblazers took advantage of a Trooper fumble on their first possession of the game on a 2 yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Mark Moore III giving Americas a 7 to 0 lead at the 8:45 mark of the first quarter. Minutes later, the Troopers would find the end zone on a 2 yard pass from Minjarez to junior wide receiver Evan Macias.
Americas would strike again in the first quarter on a 76 yard catch and run by junior running back Brian Promesse. Murillo scored for the Troopers on a 3 yard touchdown reception with 5:54 remaining in the first half. Americas missed a 25 yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining in the first half. The Troopers would take a slim 14 to 13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The defensive units for both teams would control the tempo of the contest in the second half. Both teams had long drives that stalled short of the end zone to open the second half. At the 8:49 mark in the third quarter, Moore scored on a 3 yard run giving the Troopers a 19 to 14 lead. Murillo returned a Trailblazer punt 75 yards for a Trooper touchdown, giving Eastwood a 20 to 19 lead with 1:04 remaining in the third quarter.
The defensive slugfest continued in the fourth quarter with neither team finding the end zone. The Troopers kept the ball on the ground, kept the ball out of the hands of the Trailblazer offense, and worked on the clock in the final minutes of the game.
Minjarez was 11 of 20 for 213 yards and two touchdowns for the Troopers. In addition, Minjarez was Eastwood’s leading rusher with 14 carries for 87 yards. Americas quarterback Mark Moore was 8 of 15 for 130 yards; he also led the Trailblazers’ rushing attack with 25 carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Story by Ryan Adams