Troopers land playoff spot; Eastwood honors seniors

Last Thursday, the Eastwood Troopers lost to the Franklin Cougars 28-53, ending their season 6-4 overall and 3-3 in district. The game determined if the Troopers were going to playoffs. As this was the last home game of the season, Eastwood also honored senior players, Trooperettes, cheerleaders, and band members.

The game started off with a Franklin touchdown, but the point after was blocked by the Troopers. Several minutes later, the Troopers returned the favor with a touchdown made by junior Richie Rodriguez with 6:18 left in the quarter. After a failed attempt at a two point conversion, junior Owenn Chavez provided the Troopers with a good kick that started their lead 7-6. However, the Cougar offense scored on their following drive to bring the score to 7-12. With only 26 seconds left in the quarter, Rodriguez found himself in the end zone for the second time of the night. The first quarter ended in a score of 14-12, with Eastwood in the lead.

Rodriguez was the first to strike in the second quarter with 4:32 left in the half. The Cougars were quick to catch up and scored two back-to-back touchdowns to end the second quarter 21-25.

Eastwood recognized all the band and Trooperette seniors at halftime, and the football and cheerleader seniors before the game.

Franklin dominated the scoreboard in the third quarter, leaving no opportunity for the Troopers to score. The Cougars scored 21 points in the quarter alone.

The fourth quarter brought high tensions as the Troopers knew a playoff spot was on the line. The Cougar offense proved too much for the Troopers as they scored first. With only 7 minutes and 40 seconds left in the game, the Troopers struggled to score once more before the final whistle. However, a minute later, Rodriguez passed to Heber Ovalles for a touchdown to end the game in a score of 28-53. Despite the loss, Eastwood was able to advance thanks to an El Dorado win over Americas. This is Eastwood's first appearance in state playoffs since 2005.

Junior Christian Aguirre believes that "playoffs is a whole different atmosphere from regular season. We have to go in mentally prepared and physically prepared and just go out there and compete."

The Troopers' first game in the playoffs will be against Frenship High School in Artesia, New Mexico on Thursday, November 13.

Football seniors include: #2 Andrew Espinosa, #3 David Bernal, #4 Andrew Cole, #8 Isaiah Dickerson, #9 Eddie Simmons, #11 Juan Bayona, #13 Matthew Font, #15 Julian Jimenez, #18 Stephen Villa, #23 Dominique Romero, #25 Joe Crawford, #27 Omar Sanchez, #28 Fernando Meja, #45 Anthony Delgado, #50 Jacob Bowman, #51 Emigdio Gonzalez, #52 Richard Rodriguez, #53 Irvin Gallegos, #54 Ricardo Pragner, #62 Leo Hernandez, #67 Adrian Minjares, #72 Mickey Garcia, #74 Jordan Cataldi, #75 Gregory Long, #80 Eddie Simmons, #83 Antoine Kinsey, #84 Steven Buster, and #91 Ramon Soto