EL PASO — El Paso Andress was looking for a spark after struggling with consistency over the last three games. They found that and more from its offense on Thursday night, scoring on their first six possessions of the game and containing El Paso Bowie’s option attack en route to a 38-21 road win over the Bears at Baty-Simmang Memorial Stadium.
“It was a great team win today,” said junior receiver and cornerback Tre Maestas, “We went after it and we’re getting better and better.”
With the Bears moving the ball methodically down the field during an early drive, Eagle linebacker Anthony Munoz stepped in front of a Joseph Ponce pass and intercepted it. Andress moved the ball down the field and added a 31-yard field goal by Mark Ramos to make it 3-0.
Seemingly unfazed by the interception, the Ponce and the Bears drove the ball down the field, capping 10-play, 70-yard drive with a Ricardo Valles 1-yard touchdown run to give Bowie a 7-3 lead.
It would be the only time the Bears would have the lead, as quarterback Dominique Smith found receiver Marco Barron in the back corner of the end zone to give Andress a 10-7 lead in the second quarter.
After some early initial success on the ground, Bowie had trouble finding the open lanes in the second quarter. The Bears stalled late in the first half and the Eagles quickly took advantage and capitalized with a 7-yard run by Jalen Joseph and later on a 40-yard catch-and-run by Maestas to take a 24-7 lead into halftime. The Eagles scored twice in the span of 1:29, giving the Eagles a 21-point cushion with two quarters remaining.
“The defense gelled today and we feel great,” Maestas said, “We have come a long way and we’re finally getting the hang of things. We’re becoming a great team.”
Both teams took time to getting back on the field because of a lightning delay at halftime, but the stoppage didn’t deter the Eagles. The Andress offense quickly found its rhythm in the second half again, driving 68 yards in five plays in just under a minute that running back Dorian Lewis finished with a 12-yard touchdown run. The Eagles finished with 131 yards rushing on the night.
Bowie, however, staged a late rally. Running back Justin Diaz broke through the Eagle defensive front for a 60-yard touchdown run to make it 31-14.
Andress responded with one of their most impressive drives of the game, converting twice on third and long and on fourth down in Bowie territory. Smith found Barron again for a 34-yard strike to make it 38-14 — essentially putting the game out of reach. The junior quarterback finished 10-of-18 for 233 yards and three touchdowns while Barron finished with 71 yards receiving and two of those scores.
Bowie running back Nathan Felix’s fourth-quarter touchdown run added the Bears’ final score of the game. Maestas, who finished with 75 yards receiving and a touchdown, said he saw this game as an encouraging sign for the Eagles and believes his team can keep it going.
“We just need to keep practicing,” Maestas said, “Coach (Jeff Woodruff) has us going hard every day at practice and working hard in football and inside the classroom. We just have to keep it going and keep executing.”
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