EL PASO, Texas - It was a battle for 2nd place in 5A District as the Montwood Rams and Americas Trailblazers were trying to keep up with the Franklin Cougars. The game was at the Socorro Activities Complex and featured two teams still undefeated in district play.
Montwood came into the game coming of a nail-biter win against rival El Dorado. While Americas scored 74 points in a blowout win vs Bel Air. The Trailblazers had the highest rankings jump in the state of Texas this week. Both teams were being led by a vertical passing attack led by Rams, Warren Redix and Trailblazers Orlando Garcia.
Americas Head Coach, Patrick Melton, did not see his team as the underdog and that's the way the Blazers came out from the start of the game. Americas scored touchdowns on their first 4 possessions of the game led by their defense causing two turnovers on Rams Quarterback Angel Garcia. By Montwood's fifth possession they were already down 28-0 and they had no idea what hit them.
The Trailblazers were carrying all the momentum as the crowd grew louder and louder with each touchdown. But then Rams Head Coach, Chuck Veliz, replaced Garcia and put in Jacob Aguilar at QB and that's when the comeback started. In his first drive, Aguilar led Montwood to their first touchdown and were able to get a field goal right before the first half ended cutting the deficit to 28-10.
Not even one minute into the 2nd half the Rams offense came out with a bang. Running back Alexis Ruiz ran it 40 yards to the house and now the game was back on. Americas momentum was gone and Montwood was now the one forcing the turnovers. The exact opposite was now going on, before Americas even knew it, Montwood was only down 27-28 in the 4th quarter.
After a Warren Redix go ahead touchdown catch, the Rams had scored 35 unanswered points after being down 28 nil The Americas crowd had gone silent and hope was almost lost. But the composure of the Trailblazers team remained confident. Their next series involved a nifty tip catch then a 44 yard touchdown run by Javier Hinojos that brought back life into the crowd and tied the game with under 5 minutes left.
Montwood was unable to move the ball in their next possession as the Trailblazers defense was able to sack Aguilar in back to back plays. To add even more drama to an already drama filled game, Americas muffed the punt and a pile formed with the referees trying to see who jumped on the ball. Americas retained possession and marched their way into field goal range. With seconds remaining kicker Daniel Perezchica split the uprights and the Trailblazers stunned the Rams with a 38-35 victory.
Americas now host undefeated Franklin next week for the rights of first place in 5A District. The momentum and confidence of this team is strong. Most people expected a Montwood and Franklin tug a war but the party crashers of Americas have arrived.