On Friday night, two of the best in West Texas out of Class 6A will square off at Ratliff Stadium. The El Paso Eastwood Troopers will travel to Odessa to take on the Permian Panthers. Both teams come into this game a perfect 2-0 and are coming off of very impressive performances. The Troopers soundly defeated the Bel Air Highlanders 50-20 in the Battle of the Helmet while the Panthers marched into El Paso and thumped the Franklin Cougars 61-0.
For Eastwood, one big question coming into 2016 is how they would replace their dynamic quarterback Mark Torrez, who is now at UTEP. Insert junior quarterback Seth Ochoa and the Trooper offensive machine is still going strong. Ochoa turned in an outstanding performance against the Highlanders, finishing 23 of 29 for 375 yards and three touchdown passes. He also added three rushing touchdowns and has 11 total TD’s through two games. He’ll look to a young, but very talented receiving core to help the Troopers match up against the Mojo.
The Permian Panthers take a slightly different offensive approach. Junior quarterback Steve Steen leads the Mojo option attack and will look to create mismatches against an Eastwood defense that will try to limit the big plays allowed. The Panthers rolled over Franklin with 601 yards of total offense, 384 of those coming on the ground. But it was their defense that suffocated Franklin by pitching a shutout and limiting the Cougars to just 52 total yards of offense.
El Paso Eastwood will look to prove they belong with the top teams in West Texas against a Permian team looking to keep the Mojo rolling against another Sun City squad. These two high powered offenses are sure to provide a lot of excitement for the fans in Odessa.