EL PASO, Texas— After playoffs all fell through and each individual season wrapped up in the El Paso area, the city’s best talent joined together on Saturday to showcase their skills in the 26th annual Greater El Paso Showcase All-Star game.
Normally the teams are split into two teams—west versus east—but this year, the teams were selected by a unique draft system. As coaches drafted their teams and players, who played for the same program, wound up playing against each other, the Blue Thunder and Red Storm were created.
In front of thousands of spirited fans, band members from schools, cheerleaders, mascots and sponsors, the Blue Thunder emerged in a late surge, topping the Red Storm 50-26.
El Dorado’s standout quarterback and San Diego State commit Cedarious Barfield led the Blue Thunder with four touchdown passes and was named the overall MVP for the team.
Barfield saw his senior season end abruptly in the first round of the playoffs after he suffered a knee injury against Midland Lee and would not return in the game, leaving El Dorado to lose 63-0.
“It was great to be out here one last time,” Barfield said. “Didn’t end the playoffs like I wanted to. Came into this game and gave it all I got. It was great playing with different players and coaches.”
The first half featured a back-and-forth battle with three lead changes.
The Blue Thunder started off with an early 10-0 lead, charged by Barfield connecting with receivers like Montwood’s Tyreese Andrus and Parkland’s Zarcariaous Presha. On the second drive of the game, Barfield hit Presha for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Then, Montwood’s standout quarterback Andrew Fernandez orchestrated a nice drive that finished in Matthew Zubiate, senior running back from Chapin, catching a touchdown pass from Fernandez.
Fernandez found Coronado’s Angelo Donatelli on the next drive for the go-ahead score, with the Storm leading 14-10 to finish the first quarter.
Fabens’ Chris Muzio picked off Thunder’s Anthony Baird in the second quarter, which resulted in a Storm field goal. They led 17-10 with 8:43 left in the half.
But right before the half, the Thunder was able to score back-to-back touchdowns on two separate drives. One ended in Anthony’s Jesus Ramirez taking a 22-yard touchdown run, and the other was Eastlake’s Ezekiel Jones running the ball in for a 24-yard rushing touchdown.
The Thunder led 24-20 in a close half score.
Out of the half, the Storm scored first as Donatelli capped off his second touchdown with a four-yard receiving touchdown.
It would be the last time the Storm would score on the day.
The Thunder scored four unanswered touchdowns, lifting them to a 50-26 lead. Barfield led the commanding surge, completing 16-of-32 passes for 231 yards on the day.
Chapin quarterback Anthony Baird had 132 yards of passing for the Thunder, as running backs Michael Angelo Obonan of Parkland and Alejandro Cabral of Austin had touchdowns of their own.
For the Storm, Fernandez led the way with 102 passing yards and two touchdowns. Zubiate led the running backs with 54 yards of rushing and a receiving touchdown.
And as the season drew to a final close, Barfield reflected on his final game in El Paso.
“It’s all surreal,” he said. “I came here in the seventh grade and El Paso has been great to me. I’m really grateful to have played here.”
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