Despite El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego issuing a two-week shutdown of all non-essential businesses—along with a previous recommendation for all high school activities to halt amid surging cases of COVID-19 in El Paso—there is a marquee high school football matchup set for Friday night.

Clint (3-0) will host Riverside (4-0) in a matchup that will decide the District 1-4A champion.

Earlier this week, a majority of school districts suspended action, including El Paso ISD, Socorro ISD and Canutillo ISD.

Ysleta ISD elected to remain in action for the foreseeable future, citing rapid testing that was made available for all participants, as reported by Felix Chavez of the El Paso Times. Similarly, Clint ISD provided rapid testing to all of its participating schools. Tests were conducted on athletes and negatives came back across the board, according to Chavez.

 

Now we're here and we've got a massive high school matchup on Friday night.

Matchup breakdown: Clint vs. Riverside

Under head coach Rosvel Martinez, the Clint Lions have been stout all year, featuring a ground-and-pound rushing attack. The defending 4A champs average a whopping 496 rushing yards per game. The Lions stormed through their schedule thus far, defeating El Paso High (61-15), Fabens (49-7) and Mountain View (62-0).

Their two-headed running back duo between seniors Misael Rosales (22 carries, 356 rushing yards, four TDs) and Gael Lopez (30 carries, 344 rushing yards, seven TDs) lead the way for the group.

Riverside will be a great test for a dominant Clint team. The Rangers, coached by second-year alum Gary Recoder, has been similarly impressive this year. If they were to beat Clint on Friday, it would be their first district title since 2005.

The Rangers bested teams like Jefferson (42-14), San Elizario (55-6) and Mountain View (37-0), along with a forfeit win against Fabens. Sophomore quarterback Angel Munoz leads the way with 509 passing yards, 230 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns on the year. Sophomore tailback Jose Guardado is their featured running back and has 503 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the season.

The game kicks off tonight at 6 p.m.