Tough defense and explosive offense will be the battle to watch as the El Paso Chapin Huskies take on the Lubbock Coronado Mustangs on Saturday afternoon in Odessa. This will be the first-ever matchup between the two schools.
Through most of the season, Chapin looked like the cream of the crop not just in District 1-5A, but in all of El Paso. However, they lost their last two regular-season games, which cost them a share of the district title. That said, the Huskies came up with a goal-line stand at the end of the game to beat El Paso Del Valle 17-14 and now have some positive momentum heading into this matchup.
The offense is looking to get back on track after averaging just 14 points per game in its last three matchups. The Huskies were averaging more than 40 points per game through their 8-0 start. Running backs Matthew Zubiate and Angel Soto will need to be that force in the backfield for the Huskies and quarterback Anthony Baird will have to be smart with the football and look for his top targets in Ryan Wilson and Mondarius Johnson. Johnson’s versatility will also be key against a Mustang defense that has given offenses fits with lost yardage.
Earlier in the year, head coach Rene Hernandez said the defense would have to carry the team in 2016. Through 11 games, his belief still holds true. The defense has only given up 94 points all season long. Kevin Licon, Angel Carrillo, Hinckley Lavea, and Rosario Hernandez are just some of the dynamic playmakers that the Huskies bring to the table but this may be the best offense they have faced all season long.
Lubbock Coronado brings a high-powered offense into Odessa on Saturday, ran by junior quarterback Qua Gray. With over 3,000 yards passing on the year, Gray has the ability to spread it around to talented receivers, including Noah Sifrit and Chance Fair among others. In the backfield, Jarrod Compton is the workhorse and is coming off a 291 yards, three touchdown performance in the Mustangs’ comeback win over Amarillo Caprock.
On defense, the Mustangs love to come after the offense and bring pressure. Mason Montoya, Seth Wood, Miguel Garcia, and Trey Stephens all have over 20 tackles for loss this year and will look to bring that same havoc to Chapin’s offense. In the secondary, look for Christian Hayes to match up with Wilson or Johnson all afternoon. The junior cornerback has collected an impressive nine interceptions on the year.
Will Chapin be able to find its offense or will Coronado build off a big comeback last week against Amarillo Caprock? We will all find out that answer on Saturday afternoon in Odessa.