CHRISTOVAL, TX – The Christoval – Eldorado game Friday night was like the greatest gladiator match in the history of the world.
Too much? It certainly felt that way when the Eldorado Eagles flew north to take of the Cougars of Christoval.
Eldorado rode into Jack Pardee Stadium undefeated and rode away beaten by an unrelenting defense and punishing running game.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff expecting to draw first blood but ending up getting washed into a Red Sea of Christoval defenders.
The Christoval defensive line deserves credit for putting Covarrubiaz off his mark. The first Eagle drive saw crimson jerseys swallow up Eagle running back James Kimble for a loss and sack the Eldorado quarterback. A bad snap that Covarrubiaz chased down and got a pass off almost ended up in the hands of the defensive receivers the Cougars have roving the secondary.
The Eagle woes continued as a shanked punt gave the Cougars the ball at the Eldorado 30. From there, the Cougars rushed for the first touchdown of the night, leading Eldorado 6-0.
Once Eldorado got the ball back it was more of the same from Christoval’s defensive front who crashed against the Eagle offensive line. On third down, Kimble would fumble the handoff from Covarrubiaz that would be recovered Christoval lineman Tristan Bratton at the Eldorado 29.
This Cougar drive ended in a turnover on downs but the ensuing drive by the Eagles didn’t go anywhere and the ball ended back with the Cougars at the Eagles 29-yard line.
Christoval would score and put the Eagles down 12-0.
More back and forth that kept the score close until Covarrubiaz threw an uncharacteristic interception to Christoval defensive receiver Cayden Carpenter in the closing seconds of the 1st quarter.
Early in the second the Cougars pinned the Eagles deep leaving them with almost the entire field to drive for points.
Point would be put on the board, but not for the Eagles. The Cougar’s Red Sea defensive line crashed in on Eldorado’s Jasi Galindo for the safety putting the Cougars up 14-0.
After the safety a 10-yard pass from Loehman to Jolly gave Christoval a 20-0 lead.
It’s hard to overcome mishandled snaps, fumbles, and a safety for any team. Eldorado isn’t just any team and after nearly 20 minutes of being tossed around, the Eagles high flying offense woke up.
After an intentional grounding call, Covarrubiaz hooked up with Cooper Meador for a long catch and run that burned playmaking cornerback Beau Jolly. When you play the ball like Jolly did on that play, you take a chance. You can’t blame they player for trying to get the ball back to the offense and put Eldorado down for good.
Set up near the goal line, Eldorado’s Superman would run the rock in for a touchdown and after the 2-point conversion, cut the lead to 12.
The score rejuvenated the Eagles who cut the lead again with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Meador inside 2 minutes, making the score 20-14.
In 5 minutes, it was looking like the Eagles would go into halftime having scored 14 unanswered points, but the Cougars were prepared.
In the closing seconds of the 1st half, Kyle Loehman would toss a 44-yard pass to receiver Cayden Carpenter for a touchdown with 5 seconds left, essentially knocking the air out of the Eldorado sideline.
Halftime hit with the Cougars in the lead 28-14 and Christoval got the ball to start the second half.
Christoval had to punt the ball on the opening drive of the 2nd quarter and Eldorado took their drive for 6. Covarrubiaz again threw it to Meador for the 37-yard score. No matter the score, the Eagles never felt out of the game.
The last three touchdowns of the game would go to Christoval. Fava took a screen pass 37-yard to paydirt.
After Fava’s touchdown catch and an early 4th quarter interception by Cayden Carpenter, the Cougars let Ketcher Joiner in on the fun.
Joiner had two touchdown where the tumbled over the Eagles defense.
Christoval knocked off the 8th ranked Eldorado Eagles 46-22.
Eldorado always felt like they were one or two plays away from taking the lead. So Christoval might not have been pure kryptonite, they came in the game prepared, kind of like Batman.
The Red Sea kept Covarrubiaz off the mark enough to force him to throw two interceptions, doubling he total on the season.
Jon Long knows what kind of team he has and what type of team Christoval is.
“You just can’t start the way we did,” Eagle head coach Jon Long said, “All credit goes to Coach Otho (Christoval’s head coach) and those guys who just have a heck of a football team. We’re going to get back in the film room and get ready to go again.”
“Our guys never quit and you know, that’s one thing I love about them. We’re tough and they’re fighters and sometimes you don’t win them. We’re going to go back to the drawing board and look at what worked and what we need to fix just like we always do.” Long said. “Hat’s off to them (Christoval Cougars) and maybe we’ll see them again in the playoffs.”
Casey Otho, the Cougars head coach, said “It feels great for the kids and the coaching staff, we prepared hard and we prepare each week like that just to pay off like that feels good.”
This Eldorado team is used to putting up nearly 2 touchdowns a quarter and can score from anywhere on the field, but the Cougars held the Eagles to 22 points the entire game.
“I feel great about the defense.” Otho said. “We knew they had a great offense… we knew they were going to score and we had to limit those opportunities.
With two games left in the district season and with the way both teams are playing at a very high level, it appears that deep postseason runs are in store for the Cougars and the Eagles.
This week, Christoval plays at Junction (3-5 overall, 0-3 in district) and the Eagles take on the Menard Yellowjackets (2-6 overall, 1-6 in district).
Stay tuned to SanAngeloLIVE.com and COVER1 as we look ahead to the playoffs and what is in store for each of these team.