On Friday, October 18, the Eastwood Troopers and the Bel Air Highlanders battled it out for the title of the Helmet. Eastwood attained the victory with little opposition, settling at a score of 45-2. With the Helmet in Eastwood's possession, and a three-year consecutive win against Bel Air, the Troopers and Highlanders are now tied in the rivalry with 22 wins each.
The game began with Eastwood in possession at the 19 yard-line of Trooper territory, and was quickly taken to that of Bel Air with a catch by Richie Rodriguez at the 20 yard-line. Only twenty seconds had passed before Erin Portillo, wide-receiver, scored a touchdown at 10:27 left of the first quarter. Even though the Troopers' two-point conversion failed, they continued to persevere with another touchdown scored by Mark Torrez at 0.0 left of the first quarter.
During the second quarter, the possession of the ball alternated possession until the 7 minute mark with a two-point conversion for the Highlanders. Eastwood quickly retaliated with a point-return for an 80 yard touchdown by wide-receiver Julian Jimenez, and yet another touchdown was made by the end of the second quarter via running-back Anton Granados. The half ended in favor of the Troopers with a score of 25-2.
After the half, the Troopers came out strong with two back-to-back touchdowns by Richie Rodriguez at 4:49 and another by Aaron Contreras at 4:38 with the help of Jonathan Rivera, defensive back, who pulled an interception against the Highlanders. By the fourth quarter, Eastwood maintained its previous pattern of points with their final touchdown by Richie Rodriguez.
Overall, "the team performed pretty well" Julian Jimenez explained, "We had some mistakes, but together we overcame them. These were little mistakes that were not supposed to happen." Some of these mistakes included flags, and a total of three two-point conversions that were missed. "If we keep playing how we are playing and focus on the game, we could win against Americas next week" Jimenez said.
Erin Portillo also agreed that Eastwood worked together. "We were consecutive and finished drives. As long as we are successful in our drives and play how we know how to play, we could get a win this week."
"For me, it's a team thing. Getting a win with them is all that matters, I just try to help my team as much as I can." Jonathan Rivera said. "We have a good plan for the America's game. We need to play hard and execute mostly."
Head coach Phil Barrios concluded that the team played well overall. "The boys take pride in the game because of the fact that it is the Battle of the Helmets rivalry." Jonathan Rivera and right tackle Greg Long were Barrios' players of the Game. "Jonnie had two interceptions that led to a touchdown." Barrios roused. As for Eastwood's next game against Americas, "we need to contain their big players like their running back, Isaak Washington."
Rivera predicts that it will be a good game with good offense and defense going against each other. "Hopefully we will come out on top" he said.
The Eastwood Troopers now have a 5-2 record. Their next game will be at the Socorro Student Activities Center, Thursday at 7:00 p.m.