WINTERS, TX — Eldorado outlasted Haskell in a neutral site rematch of last years playoff defeat Thursday night. The contest was dead even until the end of the third quarter when the Eagles exploded for 21 points in the final 14 minutes of action.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start filled with dropped passes and three and outs.
Eldorado’s Cooper Meador returned the opening kickoff to the 24 yard line and that’s where the Eagles’ offense got to work. Quarterback Kevan Covarrubiaz found Meador on a short out route on first down that he turned into a 17 yard gain. Covarrubiaz followed that up with a 9 yard slant to Jakaan Jurecek.
A false start and holding penalty looked like drive killers, but running back Santiago Hernandez found an open hole up the middle for a 21 yard gain that put them at the Haskell 26. On first down, Covarrubiaz picked up 5 on a quarterback draw. Haskell’s defense tightened up after that, however, and forced a turnover on downs after a tackle for loss and two incompletions.
Quarterback Cutter Medford and the Haskell offense would take over at their own 22. They were not out there for long as the Indians failed to connect on three straight passes and were forced to punt.
Meador returned the punt across midfield, and gave his offense great field position at the Haskell 48. Covarrubiaz found his target by threading the needle between a couple defenders for a 22 yard gain on first down. They would only gain five more yards with Santiago before incompletions ended the drive near the red zone once again.
The Eldorado defense held strong again and forced a three and out after a short run and two incompletions. The Eagles would start the ensuing possession from their own 33, but were forced to punt after a three and out of their own.
The game’s first scoring drive came on the next possession. Haskell started at midfield and Medford quickly ran for a gain of 15 on first down. The very next play, he found a streaking Landry Olson in the right side of the end zone for a 35 yard score. The extra point was good, making it 7-0 with 4:04 remaining in the first.
Neither team could get anything going on the following possessions, and two punts later, Eldorado had the ball on its own 45. Covarrubiaz ran and passed his way to the four yard line where Hernandez punched it in to tie things up early in the second.
Their defense forced another three and out, and Eldorado took the lead after a 67 yard drive. What started as a methodical drive turned into a quick hitter when Kevan Covarrubiaz found his brother Korbin down the seam for a 38 yard touchdown pass.
Neither team could find any more points in the half, and both teams headed to the locker room in a one possession slugfest.
Haskell came back out on a mission, though, and tied things back up with a 53 yard drive capped by a nifty play action rollout where Medford found a crossing Logan Burson in the end zone for a 28 yard touchdown.
The teams traded punts after three and outs once again which gave Eldorado the ball inside its own twenty. The Covarrubiaz brothers found each other again on a 23 yard post in between a handful of Haskell defenders. Two plays later, Kevan heaved the ball up Meador who leaped over the cornerback for a tremendous 33 yard catch. A couple run plays later and Eldorado regained the lead with a Kevan Covarrubiaz run.
Possibly the biggest play of the game came two possession later after a pair of punts. Haskell started its possession on the 46 and was going to punt but instead ran a fake that went thirty five yards. Devastatingly for Haskell, the referee called it back for holding, and they were unable to convert on the next play.
That was Haskell’s last chance. Covoarrubiaz found Meador again in a play that rivaled the first deep catch, and Kevan ran it in again to go up two scores. A late, 35 yard touchdown run by Hernandez put an exclamation mark on things and made it look a lot more lopsided than it actually was.
Final score Eldorado 35, Haskell 14. The Eagles are 5-1 going into their bye week before district play starts, and the Indians fall to 2-4 on the season.
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