Fly Eagles, fly: Canutillo set to play Rider in Sweet 16 of Texas state playoffs

High School Sports

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Canutillo Eagles are back in a familiar position in the Class 5A Texas high school football state playoffs. With their 27-24 win over Amarillo Randall last week in the Area Round, Canutillo has returned to the Regional Semifinals where they will play Wichita Falls Rider on Friday in Midland.

It’s the Eagles’ first ‘Sweet 16’ appearance since 2014, the same year head coach Scott Brooks led his team to the State Semifinals (Final 4).

“It’s a great honor to be able to put ourselves in a position to represent El Paso,” said Canutillo defensive coordinator Fiacro Ramirez, who served as acting head coach last week with Brooks in COVID protocol. “It’s just something we strive for year-to-year.”

Canutillo has won 10 straight games and is 11-1 this season. The Eagles will play a Rider team who is as equally as hot right now — 11-1 and winners of their last five games coming into Friday’s matchup.

“I think it’ll take another great effort by the defense. Also, the offensive line opening up holes for us to get through,” said Canutillo junior running back LJ Martin. “If we can do that, it’ll be a good win for us.”

Martin has provided the Eagles offense with fireworks all season long, having rushed for 2,592 yards and 28 touchdowns. He’s also tallied six receiving touchdowns, one kick return for a touchdown and one passing touchdown. Martin currently holds Division I offers from Baylor, Kansas State, Texas Tech, UNLV and UTEP.

Canutillo, who is one of three El Paso schools left standing in the Texas state playoffs, will play at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. MT.

CLASS 6A D-II REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

Eastwood (8-4) vs. Prosper (8-4) – Saturday, 12 p.m. MT, Lowrey Field at Plainscapital Park – Lubbock, TX

CLASS 5A D-II REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

Canutillo (11-1) vs. Wichita Falls Rider (11-1) – Friday, 3 p.m. MT, Grande Communications Stadium – Midland, TX

CLASS 4A D-I REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

Riverside (11-1) vs. Springtown (9-3) – Saturday, 3 p.m. MT, Grande Communications Stadium – Midland, TX

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