EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Just before midnight on Wednesday, Eastwood pulled out of the Trooper Stadium parking lot bound for its latest big test on the gridiron.

In recent years, head coach Julio Lopez and the Troopers have challenged themselves with tough opponents on the other side of Texas. This year will present Eastwood its toughest test yet, as the Troopers go on the road to play Class 6A state powerhouse, Southlake Carroll.

“People call us crazy, but we’ve just always had the belief that if you’re in the state of Texas, your goal should be to win it all,” Lopez said. “In order to be the first El Paso team to do that, your non-district schedule has to set you up in that way. To make a run, you have to be able to beat a team like (Southlake Carroll) and that’s why we scheduled them to go play against the best and prove to ourselves how good we are.”

Eastwood travelled by bus through the night to get to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex on Thursday in time for Friday’s 6 p.m. MT kickoff. Once in Dallas, the Troopers will have a walk-through, rest, then watch Arlington Martin play Lake Travis in Arlington Thursday night.

Coming off a trip to the Class 6A Division II Regional Semifinals in 2021, Eastwood has high hopes of a similar showing this fall. They hope a strong showing at Southlake Carroll will propel them to reach that goal.

“We have to have a chance in the fourth quarter, that’s how you measure success against a team like that. We don’t believe in moral victories, but I told the kids, ‘as long as you give us a chance to win in the fourth, we feel like we’re going to come out on the right side of that,’ and so that has to be one of the goals,” Lopez said.

The Troopers will look to shock the entire state of Texas on Friday night, then bus back to El Paso, returning on Saturday.