This is the Eagles first win of the season and more importantly, it is a district win that keeps their playoff hopes alive with three games left in district play.
“This feels really great,” said senior Daniel “Hit Man” Ortega who rushed for 128 yards on just seven carries. “Our whole team played with a lot of heart tonight. Each time Runge tried to make a comeback we answered. I am so proud of our whole team for never giving up because we still have a chance to move on into the playoffs.”
Runge got the ball first and moved down to the Eagle 18-yard line before the Eagle defense stopped them on a fourth and seven.
The Eagles almost struck immediately as Jonathan Flores ran 66 yards before he had the ball stripped from him just before he crossed the end zone. The ball went out of bounds for a touchback.
Runge returned the favor as Justin Watson recovered a fumble at the Runge 19 . Six plays later, Flores powered his way in from the four-yard line for the Eagles’ first score. Ortega ran the two-point conversion in to give the Eagles an 8-0 lead after one quarter of play.
Runge tied it up at 8-8 with 9:19 left in the first half. After both teams exchanged the ball, the Eagles began a drive from their own 12-yard line with time winding down in the first half.
Quarterback Tyler Quesada hit Watson with a 13-yard pass near midfield to give the Eagles a first down. On the next play, Quesada found a seam on the left side and scampered 40 yards to the Runge six.
Flores went around the right side for his second touchdown of the game. Flores also added the twopoint conversion to give-his team a 16-8 lead at the half.
“I could tell the momentum shifted when we scored right before the half,” said Flores. “That was a great drive. Tyler (Quesada) made a great run to put us in position to score. Our linemen were moving people out of the way all night. Everything was going right for us.”
If there was any doubt about momentum shifting, it was erased on the very first play from scrimmage of the second half. Ortega ripped through the middle of the line untouched in route to a 55-yard touchdown run. The two-point try was no good and the Eagles now led 22-8.
After holding Runge to three and out the Eagles got the ball back at their own 42. Three plays later, Ortega added another 55-yard touchdown run that looked equally as exciting as the first one.
Corey Martin added the two-point try to extend the lead to 30-8.
“Give all the credit to our line,” said Ortega. “They were opening holes big enough to drive a truck through.”
The Eagles put the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter as Lionel Brown went around the left side for a 20-yard touchdown run and the Eagles last score.
The Yellowjackets would add two more scores on a long pass play and a long run but, it was too little, too late. The Eagles recovered an onsides kick with 1:02 left in the game and ran out the clock.
Eagle rushers on the night were; Ortega 128 yards, Quesada 57 yards, Brown 56 yards, Martin 48 yards, Dillon Starr 45 yards, and Flores 41 yards.
“I am extremely proud of our team for playing all out tonight,” said Coach Brad Vickers. “We told them that we can enjoy this one until midnight and then we have to start getting ready for Benavides. We have to win our last four games and we got the first one out of the way. We expect Benavides to be tough at home but, we also expect to come out with a win. Thanks to our community for staying with us and we hope to see everyone supporting us in Benavides.”
The Eagles will travel to Benavides this Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.