One of the bigger rivalries in El Paso gets renewed once again as the El Dorado Aztecs face off against the Montwood Rams in a District 1-6A battle on Thursday afternoon at the SAC.
El Dorado is coming off of an impressive 49-45 win over Eastwood in which they battled back after trailing by as many as 18 points in the second half. Quarterback Cedarious Barfield will be the go-to playmaker for the Aztecs, finishing with 429 yards of total offense against the Troopers. Barfield can make plays running the ball, but it was his passing late in the Eastwood game that helped the Aztecs complete the comeback.
Wide receivers Jorge Hernandez, Tyquez Hampton, and Cameron Hill all had huge games and will be the main targets for Barfield in this one and they all bring something different to the table. Hernandez is a speedy, elusive threat, Hampton is a big, physical receiver and Hill came up with some big catches in the second half.
On the other side, the Montwood Rams have a huge opportunity to make some noise in district play. After narrowly defeating Socorro last week, the Rams offense looks to provide a counter to the playmakers that El Dorado has. Quarterback Andrew Fernandez leads the Rams offense with a couple of good weapons at his disposal, running back Evan De Anda and wide receiver Tyreese Andrus. The Rams have also played tough in losses against Wolfforth Frenship and Midland High, so their 2-2 record is not indicative of how good they can potentially be.
The key for this game will be who can stay disciplined and maintain cooler heads. Last week, El Dorado was called for 14 penalties against Eastwood and had two players kicked out of the game. Coach Ruben Torres said after the game that he wanted the Aztecs to clean it up and we’ll see if they did that in time for this game.
On paper, El Dorado is the favorite. They’ve won the last two matchups against the Rams. But, Montwood has dominated this game in the past, winning every game between these two since 2005 when they started playing each other. Plus, after a big win, can El Dorado avoid a letdown against a Montwood team hungry to prove themselves in District 1-6A?