EL PASO, Texas-Coronado and Franklin square off for their 23rd meeting in history and the odds are stacked even higher than the recent years. The West Side Bowl rivalry will be renewed on Thursday at the Sun Bowl, where the winner will likely take the fourth and final playoff spot in District 1-6A.
Both teams come in with intense storylines and hope for playoff berth after their own roller coaster seasons.
Records are out the window
The Franklin Cougars lead the Coronado Thunderbirds 16-6 all-time in the rivalry series. Also, Franklin has won the last three meetings by an average of 29 points, and they’ve actually outscored Coronado 614-395 all-time.
In fact, both teams hold a 2-3 district 1-6A record and a 3-5 overall record.
However, all-time records are out the window in a rivalry game. Both these teams are notorious for giving the other a dog fight, no matter their records. Both teams like to treat the Westside Bowl as they’re both 0-0.
Jose Herrera chasing 20 touchdowns
Coronado’s Jose Herrera really can do it all—catch passes, run the ball, return kicks and punts and most of all, score touchdowns. He leads the city with 16 total touchdowns. He’s the only player in El Paso to pass, rush, receive and return a punt for a touchdown.
This man can make the difference of the game. Herrera will probably hurt the Franklin defense most through his receptions. He’s had two games in a row where he’s recorded over 100 yards of reception.
Stonewall back on the field
A huge return for the Cougars will be receiver Gabe Stonewall, if he’s cleared and ready to play. Stonewall suffered a leg injury against Montwood, and has sat out back-to-back weeks to make sure he’s ready for this game.
Stonewall is the team’s second best receiving target, already amassing 285 receiving yards with two touchdowns. Having him with the squad will be an added weapon for Franklin.
X-factors will matter
For Coronado, wideout Alex Norzagaray will serve as the team’s x-factor. He is shifty when he has the ball and he will contribute with a good number of catches per game. He has contributed with about 30 yards of reception per game, and has two touchdowns this year.
Franklin will bring receiver Joaquin Lozano, who has been a big part of the Franklin offense in recent weeks. Lozano has had over 100 yards in his past two games and all his three touchdowns.
Crowd will be a factor
This heated rivalry is a city-wide attraction. People from all around make sure to come out to the Sun Bowl’s hosting of the rivalry year after year. That being said, the crowd will be a factor in this heated battle for sure.
Crowd volume will play an important part in terms of motivation. The team who controls the motivation factor is likely to win the game.
Winner take all
The bottom line for this game is the winner will have the opportunity to go to the playoffs and continue their season after district play. Both teams are searching for the credibility, having lost to all three of the top teams in district. And they will have to do that as both teams truly hate each other.
This is a rivalry game, but playoff hopes made it that much more intense.
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