FRISCO, TEXAS (KTSM) – Plano Senior High School defeated Eastwood 43-28 on Thursday night at The Star in Frisco, in a game that was the biggest in the state of Texas for reasons other than football.
On August 3, 2019, 22 people were killed at the Cielo Vista WalMart in a mass shooting perpetrated by a graduate of Plano Senior High. Eastwood and Plano had already been scheduled to play the game before the shooting, but Plano ISD attempted to cancel the game on August 22, citing vague safety reasons.
The backlash was enormous and one day later, the game was rescheduled for Sept. 5 at The Star in Frisco.
Plano and Eastwood came together on Thursday night and honored the 22 victims lost in the El Paso shooting. The teams’ fans exchanged gifts and pleasantries and the Troopers and Wildcats stood together on the field pregame for the national anthem.
Eastwood head coach Julio Lopez spoke to both teams before kickoff, telling them that the game was, “bigger than football.” The emotion was palpable from the moment the game started.
Plano jumped out to a 23-7 halftime lead, but the Troopers didn’t roll over. Quarterback Christian Castaneda engineered a pair of scoring drives in the third quarter to get the Troopers within three, 23-20, but Plano took over down the stretch to get the 43-28 win.
Lopez was extremely pleased with the Troopers’ resolve and fight, after a 63-0 loss to Americas in week one.
Eastwood was also playing with heavy hearts after the death of former wide receiver Eddie Cruz on Monday in a drowning accident in New Mexico. The Troopers had Cruz’s number 3 jersey with them all night on the sideline.
Next up for Eastwood is a date with Horizon next Friday.