LUBBOCK — The first task for a big underdog is to avoid the early knockout punch.
At the end of one of the great seasons in its history, the Eastwood football team wasn't able to do that against Prosper in a Class 6A Division II regional semifinal.
The Eagles piled on 30 first-quarter points, and while the Troopers fought to the wire, the early hole was too much as Prosper advanced to the regional championship with a 53-6 victory. Eastwood finished 8-5.
How it happened
The game got away from Eastwood quickly.
After the Troopers went three-and-out, Prosper began what turned into a 78-yard touchdown drive with a 49-yard bomb on their first snap and soon enough was up 7-0. Eastwood then lost 15 yards before sailing a punt snap for a safety.
The Eagles ran the free kick back to the Eastwood 34, scored three plays later and were up 16-0 with 4:00 left in the first quarter. They later sandwiched two more first-quarter touchdowns around an interception and the game was essentially over with three quarters remaining.
In the first quarter, Prosper quarterback Harrison Rosar was 8-of-9 passing for 170 yards and three touchdowns. He finished 13-of-18 for 290 yards with four touchdowns and an interception and sat out the second half.
Quoting the coach
"We had talked all week about our start, how we had to start fast and play as frontrunners," coach Julio Lopez said. "To be honest that first quarter was probably the worst quarter we've played all year. We had a couple of three-and-outs early, the bad snap, we had a couple of things go wrong defensively that put us in a huge hole at the start.
"Then with the bad weather, it's hard for our offense to come back from that knowing we want to sling it around. It was a bad start, but credit to them, Prosper was every bit as good as we thought they would be."
Lopez said he sees his program getting to where Prosper is now and this Eastwood team will be a big reason why.
"Years from now I firmly believe we're going to be in that situation, winning a Sweet 16 game, going to the Elite Eight, playing into December, and I believe it's going to be because of this group," Lopez said. "This senior class, the parents, the community, this is a special group that's going to hold a special place in my heart."
Troopers almost win second quarter
That didn't mean Eastwood went quietly. In the second quarter it had a red-zone stop, its first of the game, and a Michael Caldero interception.
The Troopers later went on a 54-yard drive that ended with quarterback Andrew Martinez finding Curtis Murillo for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Prosper answered and won the second quarter 7-6, but Eastwood showed what it could do after it settled down.
Aaron Rodriguez had a big game, making eight catches for 97 yards. Martinez kept slinging, going 16-of-38 for 175 yards.
Prosper plays the Trophy Club Nelson-Denton Guyer winner next weekend for the Class 6A Division II Region I championship at a time and site to be announced.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Prosper jumps on Eastwood early to end Troopers' season