The 8th Grade Punchers traveled to Eldorado Thursday for their 5:30 kick-off. The Eagles received the opening kick-off then preceded to march almost 80 yards for a score, until finally the Punchers realize the game had begun and put an end to the drive. Linebackers Emilio Palacio and Raul Silguero did a good job of stopping the Eagles’ tailback at that point. The Eagles fumbled inside the Puncher 5 yard line and Jason Berreles recovered the ball for the save. Mason drove the ball out of the hole but were stopped near the 50 yard-line and were forced to punt. When Eldorado regained possession, the 2nd period had begun. From the Puncher’s own 23 yard line, the Eagles hit their tight-end up the middle for the score then tacked on the conversion leaving the Punchers behind 0-8.
The remaining time in the 2nd period and the entire 3rd period was given in to defense. Standout during this period were tackles and nose-guards, Hector Medina, Marcuss Martinez, Nick Dyer, and Ethan McKinney. The Puncher secondary was test several times but regained themselves with several good defensive stands by Cody Wood, Price Ruffin, Michael Hanscheck, and Jeffrey Williams.
Late in the 4th period the Punchers put together a drive of 78 yards, which included a 43 yard run and score by Raul Silguero. The offensive line opened up some badly need avenues. Standouts were, Drigo Martinez, Leret Hemphill, and Marcuss Martinez. Cody Wood tacked on the all important PAT with a bootleg run behind a good block by Leret Hemphill knotting the game at 8.
With 37 seconds remaining in the game, Eldorado fumbled but recovered on their own 38 yard-line. Rather than punt the ball, the Eagles hoped to run out the clock but had to turn it over with only seconds remaining. Wood then connected with Hemphill on the throwback which placed the ball near the Eagle 7 yard line but time expired before another play could be executed. Game final, 8-8.
Hopefully our guys learned a lesson that can help them down the road. We were over-confident, and not mentally prepared for this game and it almost got the best of us. Our guys did a good job of mounting a come-back for the tie, but we had placed ourselves in a bad position, which could have easily cost us the game. The Punchers protected their undefeated status and they will host Christoval next Thursday in the Puncherdome at 5:30.