By James Bartolo
After their first win of the season against league opponent Durango, Pueblo East Eagle head coach Andy Watts made a bold statement.
“Now we’re ready to win league,” Watts said.
Flash forward four weeks and Watts’ promise is a reality.
The Eagles captured the 3A South Central League title with a 40-14 regular season win Friday night against the Pueblo Central Wildcats.
This feat is especially significant considering the Eagles’ slow start to the season.
After losing their first five regular season non league games, the Eagles won five straight league games, including a 46-14 victory on the road against the previously undefeated Harrison Panthers.
“We may have gotten off to a bad start at 0-5, but I couldn’t be more proud of our guys’ ability to turn the season around.” Watts said after the win over the Wildcats.
The Eagles’ triumph over the Wildcats was largely due to exceptional quarterback play from junior Luc Andrada.
Playing just one-half of football, Andrada passed for four touchdowns and also tallied one 22-yard rushing touchdown late in the second quarter to make the score 40-6.
Taking their 40-6 lead into the second half, the Eagles decided to rest their starters and gave sophomore Jack Helzer the quarterbacking duties.
The second half’s only touchdown was scored by Wildcat Vincent Vasquez, who lined up at the fullback position in the fourth quarter.
However the score was too little, too late for the Wildcats as the Eagles secured not only the South Central League title, but also a spot in the Colorado State 3A Playoffs.
In the playoffs, the Eagles will look to win a fourth consecutive 3A State Championship.