In West Texas, it’s common to see teams travel three hours or more to a game. It may seem like an anomaly, a mistake, or just a deep round playoff game to others, but it’s merely a district trip for most schools around here. For El Paso schools, it’s a completely different experience entirely.
El Paso Americas trekked all the way to Abilene to take on the Abilene Eagles. For those unversed in exactly how far that is to travel, that’s 452.7 miles, which is a whopping six hours at least, provided you don’t stop to eat, use the restroom, or to allow your eyes and mind to take a break along the way. If the trip to Abilene was long for Americas, I can’t imagine how long the trip back must be feeling right now.
The beginning of this game was a slugfest, with both star running backs, Abram Smith (Abilene) and Joshua Fields (Americas) held in check for the most part. Abilene’s Payton Killam scrambled for a few key first downs, setting up a tough pass to Quay’Shawn Washington for 7. Americas worked the field, coming close to a score with a catch that was ripped out of the hands of an Abilene defender by Jacob Monarez. Americas was forced to punt, and downed it at the one. Abram Smith broke off a run to the right. Raekwon Millsap made a block, then Smith broke a tackle. All of a sudden, Smith was in the end zone. 99 yards, one play. Smith described what it felt like to break the game wide open simply, saying, “It’s a great feeling. They had us pinned down and we were a little worried, but I got a few real good blocks, and then we housed it.”
After that, the floodgates broke loose and Abilene seemed to be everywhere, but especially on Americas star Joshua Fields. They held him to only three yards on seven rushes in the first half, and punished quarterback Christian Estorga, sacking him four times and forcing a pick-six. The score as both teams trotted into the locker room was 38-0, Abilene.
Abram Smith was pulled after his 9 yard touchdown run at the start of the third quarter made the score 45-0. Abilene would go on to win utilizing a powerful run game, particularly from Killam on scrambles, to move the chains and wear down a vulnerable Americas defense.
Abilene will play the
winner of DeSoto – Southlake Carroll (Update: Abilene will play DeSoto). Smith’s comments on the next round were simple: “I feel good. I feel confident in my team, I’m ready.”
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