EL PASO — El Paso Del Valle High School made quick work of their city rivals on Friday night, shutting out El Paso Ysleta High School’s Indians 41-0 at Conquest Stadium to move to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in District 2-5A play.
It was also a game Del Valle did what they were expected to do: get out in front of their opponent and take care of business.
“I thought we played great tonight,” said Del Valle Head Coach Jesse Perales. “The coaches did a great job of preparing our guys. Our team really wanted this win and I urged the team to turn the corner and that’s what he did tonight.”
One player who got his opportunity to shine was senior quarterback Isaiah Villarreal who got the start with junior quarterback Ray Montez out with the flu. All he did was step in and put together an efficient performance, finishing 12 for 19 for 190 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half.
“The biggest thing for me was to just stick with the fundamentals,” Villarreal said following Friday’s win. “Ray was out along with some other guys at receiver and we all just stepped up when we needed to tonight.”
After both teams stalled out on the first three possessions of the game, Del Valle took advantage of a short field on the fourth. On the second play of the drive, Villarreal found a streaking Karch Gardiner down the left sideline for a 51-yard touchdown to open the scoring with 4:36 left in the first quarter.
Senior receiver Danny Cortez was able to get himself involved in the action on the next drive that was set up by a 27-yard punt return that set up the Conquistadores inside the Ysleta 15. Two plays later, Cortez was on the receiving end of a Villarreal 13-yard pass to make it 13-0. Cortez would finish with six catches for 116 yards and the one touchdown.
The defense did it’s thing from there, shutting down a run-first Ysleta team that had four straight three-and-outs in the first half and could never regain their ground from there. The Indians finished with 106 yards of total offense on the night. It’s the third shutout the Conquistadores defense has posted, including a second straight clean scoreboard to start District 2-5A play.
“The defense has just played really well together,” Perales said, “The kids have to play hard for each other and they’re doing that. There’s still a lot of room to grow and improve but we’re awfully proud of them.”
Villarreal would add two more touchdown passes in the first half, another six-yard pass to Karch Gardiner in the early stages of the second quarter and later a 20-yard pass to Christian Rendon to make the score 27-0 heading into the locker room.
Third-string quarterback Deven Zubia finished out the game, throwing touchdown passes to Rendon and Gardiner, who finished with six catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns.
Next Friday night, the Conquistadores travel to Canutillo to face the only team that beat them in District play last year. Perales said he’ll have his team ready to go for that matchup on the far west side of El Paso.
“We have to execute in that game,” Perales said. “Canutillo always has a well-coached program but we’ll prepare like we always and we’ll be ready to battle next Friday night.”
Feature Photo by Tony Venegas, TexasHSFootball.com
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