FRISCO, Texas - It was the much-anticipated game Thursday night between Eastwood and Plano at The Star.
In a game that had originally been canceled by the Plano ISD, hundreds made the trip to the Dallas Cowboys training facility to see the Eastwood Troopers take on the Plano Wildcats in a game symbolizing unity between the two communities.
Plano received the opening kickoff, and marched straight into the end zone on a 2-yard Touchdown run by Running Back Cody Crist to take a 7-0 lead.
But the Troopers responded quickly. Coach Julio Lopez used a gameplan of screens and draws to methodically move the ball down the field, before Eastwood QB Christian Castaneda hooked up with Nathan Samaniego over the top for a Touchdown to tie it at 7-7.
Crist answered for Plano with another short TD run to take a 14-7 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Eastwood committed a cardinal sin by running into their own end zone and taking a knee, resulting in a safety for a 16-7 Plano lead.
In the 2nd Quarter, Plano extended their lead when Oliver Towns found Jayden Chambers for a 42-yard TD strike to give the Wildcats a 23-7 lead.
In a scary moment before the 1st Half, Castaneda took off on the run, and was hit in the helmet as he was trying to slide. Plano LB Damian Phillips was ejected for targeting, but Castaneda would come back in the game after sitting for a few snaps.
Plano led Eastwood 23-7 at halftime, but the Troopers would storm back in the 3rd Quarter.
Castaneda got the comeback started with a 3-run Touchdown plunge on a QB keeper, and after the a failed extra point, the deficit was cut to 23-13.
Eastwood forced a quick stop, and got the ball back. And on 4th and 3, Castaneda faced heavy pressure from the Wildcat defense. But he got off a beautiful deep ball to Luca Gandara, who caught it in stride for a 37-yard Touchdown to cut it to 23-20 Plano.
Plano answered with another long Touchdown to Jayden Chambers, extending the lead to 29-20.
And with under 10 minutes to play, Eastwood thought they had a turnover when Towns lost the football in the backfield, but officials ruled the play incomplete and Plano retained possession.
Tylan Hines put the icing on the cake for Plano with a long Touchdown run on 4th and 1 for Plano, making an insurmountable lead for the Troopers, as they would lose by a final score of 43-28.
Castaneda added a late Touchdown for Eastwood, accounting for 4 of the team's Touchdowns.