Sundevils’ Lightning Strikes Cathedral
- EVHS Wins Historic Opener Down In El Paso, Texas
By Robert A. Naranjo
EL PASO, TX – A late summer storm, was accompanied with lightning strikes, “all-around us” EVHS football coach, Miguel Medina, told the Valley Daily Post. The storm and electrical display delayed, for one and a half hours, the first football contest ever between the visiting Española Valley High School Sundevils and the host, El Paso Cathedral Fightin’ Irish Saturday, Aug. 29. The game was played at the Cathedral Stadium in El Paso, Texas.
The Sundevils were fired up for their first game with much anticipation for the season. EVHS athletic director, Eric Vigil, told Valley Daily Post Sports before the game, “We’re excited to get going and play down there in El Paso. It’s something that has never been done before and we’re expecting a tough team as football is a big thing in Texas.” Vigil then added, “But, we’ve been practicing hard and we feel confident going into this game in El Paso.”
The storm and the lightening eventually subsided and officials allowed the historic game to begin. KDCE AM & FM’s Richard “RG” Garcia and “Tomas No Mas” Garcia did the play-by-play and color commentary, respectively, to bring the much-anticipated game to the Española Valley and northern New Mexico.
Post Sports asked Coach Medina how the game went in general and how Marcos Flores did as quarterback. He said that the Sundevils took “charge” with a lightening strike of their own in their opening possession. “We did score in the first quarter–in our first drive we took it down and scored, but we missed the extra-point, so we lead 6-O. Quarterback Marcos Flores had 114 yards in the game–we run a lot of option and he’s a running quarterback – an option quarterback,” Coach Medina explained. At the end of the first Quarter, the Sundevils lead 6-O.
QB Flores at an earlier scrimage against McCurdy. Photo by Robert Naranjo with the Valley Daily Post
Then Sundevil lightning struck again in their second possession of the second Quarter. “In the second Quarter, on our second possession we scored again and got the two-point conversion, so it’s 14-O. Then they came back and scored 14 toward the end of the second Quarter and so at halftime it was 14-14,” Coach Medina said. Then he added, “ I think they were kind of surprised that we took it to them…but they were tough…well coached, athletic and fast. That’s how they came back.”
In the third Quarter, “…it was a defensive battle” with neither team scoring Coach Medina said. “Our guys got a little tired on the bus ride. So, we started to rotate on defense, especially the linemen…and, it really helped us because when we started the fourth Quarter, it seemed like Cathedral was out of breath, “ he recounted.
In the fourth Quarter, Coach Medina, rotated sophomores into the game who held their own giving their teammates a needed breather. “It was a big test for us. They were well coached and had a lot of speed. We had to grind it out 5, 1O yards at a time. I think the longest run we had was 2O yards on a reverse by Belmontes,” he said.
The end of the game was “sitting at the edge of your seat” exciting when Española Valley scored with 2 minutes to go but missed the point-after attempt. Unbelievably, the Fightin’ Irish took the ensuing kickoff into Sundevil territory. A couple of critical calls against the Sundevils was almost the decider. But the Sundevils dug in deep and held on the one-yard line, then took possession and ran out the clock according to Coach Medina.
Full back Libdin Vega had 73 yard and two touchdowns. “He had 5 yards here, 1O yards there and we were able to use a big chunk of the clock. He played on both offense and defense and I think he would be the Player of the Game” Coach Medina assessed.
“We didn’t pass much but we had 3O1 yards rushing and 23 yards passing. I’ll live with those yards rushing,” Coach Medina reasoned. “This game was huge for us. It was a big thing there and it was the first time Española Valley beat a team from Texas in football. It was a really tough game, both sides expected to win,” he concluded. The historic game ended at 11:O4 p.m. MST.
A KDCE listener from Española’s Westside, Horacio Montoya, told the Valley Daily Post, “I listened on the radio for the first half of the game. They played pretty good but it looked like they needed a kicker because they kept going for the two-points (conversion). I listened to a little bit of the second half, ” Montoya said.
The record now stands at:
ESPAÑOLA VALLEY, NEW MEXICO – 1
EL PASO, TEXAS – O
Now, that’s BIG!
Stay tuned for more as the Sundevils football team is getting ready to travel to West Las Vegas this Friday for their second game of the season.