The Eldorado Sun Devils will battle it out with their rival the Chaparral Cowboys this Friday in Las Vegas, NV in the annual “Cleat Game”. This rivalry is the second oldest rivalry in the state, dating back to 1973 with Chaparral leading the series 23-16. The game is termed the “Cleat Game” because Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen donated one of his cleats, which was bronzed, for this annual battle to go to the victor. Eldorado won last year’s battle 48-21 behind a great rushing performance from Mike Williams.
Second year head coach Bill Froman has the Chaparral Cowboys looking to turn around its program. The Cowboys have just two wins over the past three seasons, both of them coming against a team that is winless in its last four seasons. Coach Froman started with the biggest concern for his team, strength. In the offseason, the Cowboys took part in a rigorous workout program that produced results that even coach Froman didn’t expect; Chaparral won the National High School Power Clean Championships. The Cowboys will be led on offense by senior running back Antonio Thomas who rushed for 848 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago. Will Hernandez will be lining up at offensive guard and defensive end this year and will be joined by junior Damien Guthrie to give the Cowboys a formidable line. Chaparral will be playing in the new Division I-A in the Sunrise Region.
Head Coach Vernon Brown’s Sun Devils of Eldorado finished the 2011 season with a 4-5 record overall. The 2012 team will be led by his sons, the Brown brothers. Senior Justin Brown will lead the Sun Devil rushing attack and his younger brother Joshua Brown will be under center at the quarterback position. The Brown brothers put on a show in Eldorado’s opening game of the season against Sunset Mountain. Justin Brown rushed for over 200 yards and tacked on 2 touchdowns, while Brother Joshua threw for over 200 yards and added 3 rushing scores of his own in a 41-28 win over Sunset Mountain. The defense was led by junior linebacker Fareti Tauaivale who recorded 15 tackles, 2 pass breakups and a sack in the win.