Prep roundup: Eunice rallies to stun Texico

STAFF REPORT
EUNICE — Freshman quarterback Mason Caperton threw a pair of touchdown passes to sophomore wide receiver Evan McCallip in the final minute of play on Saturday, lifting fourth-seeded Eunice to a 26-22 victory over fifth-seeded Texico in a Class 3A state quarterfinal game.

The Wolverines (5-6), who led most of the way, saw their five-game winning streak come to an end in heartbreaking fashion. The Cardinals to a semifinal game next week against top-seeded Estancia.

Senior quarterback Lance Myers threw a 7-yard TD pass to junior Cayd Bilbrey midway through the final quarter, and with Tyler Romans’ 2-point conversion run the Wolverines held a 22-12 lead.

The first Caperton-to-McCallip TD pass covered 21 yards and came with 52 seconds left. The Cardinals (7-4) then recovered an onside kick and took advantage of a pass interference penalty with 1.6 seconds left, putting the ball at the Texico 15.

Caperton then lobbed a pass to the corner of the end zone and McCallip was able to pull it in as time expired.

Caperton finished 21-of-34 for 238 yards and three touchdowns, while Chester Miller caught 10 passes for 107 yards and McCallip grabbed eight for 90.

For Texico, Romans carried 20 times for 54 yards, while senior quarterback Lance Myers completed 4-of-7 passes — two for touchdowns — for 49 yards.

Melrose 52, Magdalena 26 — Junior quarterback Sterling Sena threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns and the two-time defending 8-man champion Buffaloes pulled away with 24 fourth-quarter points to advance to the finals next week against top-ranked Gateway Christian (11-0) at Roswell.

Junior quarterback Jorrell Mirabal threw for three touchdowns and 194 yards for Magdalena in the first half as the teams were tied 20-20, and Melrose (10-1) led just 28-26 going into the final period before pulling away from the Steers (9-2).

“They ran all over us in the first half,” Buffs coach Dickie Roybal said. “They did a great job. They had a great game plan.”

Melrose, though, ramped up its defensive pressure in the final two stanzas and limited Magdalena to just 65 total yards in that time.

“That’s really all we did is try to get more pressure on the quarterback.”” Roybal said.

Magdalena took a 26-20 lead put together an eight-play drive capped by a 1-yard TD run from senior running back Lane Lopez. But the Buffs went 78 yards following the kickoff, with junior running back Carson Fraze scoring from a yards-out for a 28-26 lead, and Melrose went on from there.

Sena connected with his brother, freshman Tristan Sena, for a pair of scoring passes in the final quarter covering 8 and 25 yards, and Blake DeVaney added a touchdown on an interception return.

Roybal said the test would help the Buffs get ready for Gateway in a rematch of last year’s final, won by Melrose 28-26 at home.

“We had some things go our way, but I’ll tell you what — they had our kids on our (heels),” Roybal said. “It took us out of our game.

“It was great for us to play a full game tonight.”

Sterling Sena finished 14-of-18 through the air and also carried 14 times for 43 yards, while Tristan Sena had four catches for 118 yards and two scores. Fraze carried 14 times for 74 yards and caught two passes, one for a TD, for 58 yards, while junior Jared Lee caught five passes for 55 yards and Jasso grabbed three for 49.

Muleshoe 47, Breckenridge 35 — At Big Spring, the Mules overcame a 14-point halftime deficit, outscoring the Buckaroos 33-0 in the third quarter to advance in a Class 3A Division I area round contest.

The Mules (7-5) face Brock, a 62-6 winner on Friday over Amarillo River Road, in a 7 p.m. (CST) regional round game on Friday at Vernon.

Senior quarterback Beto Diaz threw for 226 yards and ran for 168 for the Mules, who posted a 487-276 advantage in total yards against the Buckaroos (5-7). Senior wide receiver Jason Florez caught four passes for 130 yards.

It was the third consecutive season the teams have played in the area round, with Breckenridge winning in 2014 and Muleshoe moving on in each of the last two campaigns.

Wellington 43, Farwell 12 — in Class 2A Division II at Amarillo’s Dick Bivins Stadium, the Steers started well and finished well.

In between, it was all Wellington.

Senior running back Jose Tellez rushed for three touchdowns and the Rockets (11-1) overcame an early 6-0 deficit with four TDs in the second quarter to advance.

Junior running back Miguel Vasquez raced 32 yards for a Steers touchdown with just under two minutes gone, but Farwell (10-2) didn’t score again until the final minute of the game when quarterback Ethan Stancell went in on a 10-yard run.

Despite the one-sided score, Farwell outgained the Rockets 255-230, but the Steers couldn’t overcome six turnovers — three interceptions, three fumbles lost.

Welllington will face Hamlin (10-2), a 66-32 winner on Friday over Wheeler, in next week’s regional round.

Note: Sports writer Beau Bearden of the Hobbs News Sun and sports editor Jonathan Miller of the El Defensor Chieftain newspaper in Socorro contributed to this report.