EL PASO-Del Valle reclaimed the bi-district championship trophy as they caused four Chapin turnovers to win 49-28.
The Conquistadors are now on a nine-game win streak with the win over the Huskies. Last year, they were on the losing end against Chapin, as they fell in the final seconds 17-14.
“That’s what the playoffs are about,” head coach Jesse Perales said. “Hats off to all our coaches. We’ll celebrate for now and plan tomorrow.”
“Everyone pulled their own weight. I know everyone had a bad taste after last year. I know some of these guys wanted to prove they’re a good football team.”
The Conquistadors opened up their strong efforts with a Cauy Oropeza interception off Chapin quarterback Anthony Baird’s deep pass. The turnover would set up a 40-yard touchdown drive that resulted in a short rushing touchdown by Del Valle’s Christopher Galindo.
Chapin quickly responded as Baird orchestrated a 75-yard touchdown drive that finished in a Baird 12-yard touchdown pass to receiver Aaron Silva.
However, Baird threw his second pick of the night on Chapin’s next drive, this time by Del Valle’s Karch Gardiner.
Two possessions later, Del Valle would chip at the Chapin offense using a colorful jet sweep play over and over until they had a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Aaron Morales.
Chapin’s third turnover of the half came at an inopportune time when a snap off a punt was low and Oropeza, defending the punt, was able to fall on top of the fumbled punt-snap, and Del Valle took over inside the Huskies 10 yard line.
Morales found the end zone again on the very next play, making it 21-7.
Adding worse troubles to the Chapin team, a punt snap soared into the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety in the Conquistadors favor. They had a commanding 23-7 lead at the half.
Oropeza, to add to his collection of turnovers, took a Baird interception at the end of the half.
“All my teammates pushed me to do better,” Oropeza said. “We all get hype with what we do. Crazy how hard we worked through this week in practice and on film. Hard work on the field and practice paid off.”
After the half, both teams traded three touchdowns apiece, but Chapin was unable to stop the strong Del Valle attack in order to get any sort of comeback going.
Del Valle was able to hold on at the end, winning 49-28.
“It’s not about the trophy. It’s about the work you put in for the trophy,” Perales said. “You gotta enjoy every moment. We played better down the stretch.”
Also at the game, the Conquistadores were surprised with a special guest who joined them. Colorado starting quarterback and former Del Valle standout quarterback Steven Montez joined the sideline.
“They look up to him (Steven Montez). It was a secret all week long,” Perales said. “That’s why we decided to play on Friday. He came into the locker room and everyone was so excited. It was exciting to have him watch on the sidelines.”
Del Valle will travel next week to Roswell, N.M. to face Lubbock Coronado.
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