Homecoming looms as Tigers look to get back to winning ways against Irvin


Daniel Ornelas

The Tigers celebrate after their 45-14 win against San Elizario during week 3 of the season. They will look to bounce back after losing their first game last week against Austin.

Allison Venegas, Sports Editor

On the heels of their first loss of the season to rival Austin, the Tigers head into their homecoming game against Irvin with a 3-1 record looking to bounce back with a victory.

El Paso has been hurt by a string of injuries to key contributors that included seniors, Gerry Chairez, Joshua Contreras and most recently the team’s leading rusher, Lueranze Johnson.

“We lost one of our valuable captains for the rest of the season and some other players. But we were able to fill in players, they knew exactly what to do to get the job done.” Captain, Kaylub Dominguez said.

Johnson had 21 carries for 259 rushing yards and three touchdowns during the win against Hanks and has totaled for 601 yards and seven scores in the season before suffering his season-ending injury.

“My performance against Hanks was pretty good, it was pretty impressive. If I keep doing that, I’ll be going places hopefully,” Lueranze said prior to his injury.

Senior running back Lueranze Johnson drags a tackler during their 45-14 victory against San Elizario on Sept. 9. Lueranze leads the team with 601 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. (Daniel Ornelas)

Not only have the Tigers overcome injuries, but the absence of their head coach, Ray Aguilar for their first home game of the season. Coach Aguilar was forced to miss the contest due to a family emergency, forcing the team to appoint assistant David Cortinas as the head man for their Sept. 2 game against Hanks.

The teams exchanged leads all game long, but it was a defensive stop by the Tigers that sealed the victory for them.

“Coach couldn’t make it so he told me today, you might have to run it. It’s just getting prepared, you know. The kids came to play, they took ownership of the team,” Cortinas said. “So it was it was more like the team, the coordinators, the coaches, everyone did their part”

Coach Aguilar returned the following week in a homecoming of sorts for him as the Tigers faced his former team, the San Elizario Eagles. The Tigers spoiled their homecoming in a convincing 45-14 win, a game El Paso trailed 14-13 at halftime.

“I mean, we’ve seen now the last three weeks, this team has played with a lot of adversity. I’m really proud of them. I give a lot of credit to coach Cortinas and what he did last week with the team,” coach Aguilar said. “We built a really strong offseason program that the kids bought into, our culture they’ve bought into and it’s very, very evident in the way that they’re playing.”

The team used their bye week to prepare for their rivalry game against Austin in the 92nd battle of the claw. The Tigers fell to Austin 32-7, losing for the first time all season, now looking towards the contest against Irvin.

“We came out here and tried what we could do, obviously we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but this time we got to put our minds into it for our homecoming game, also it is one of the last home games for the seniors and we just have to better prepare ourselves,” senior Kaylub Dominguez said.