It’s Second Season time in the Valley and the city will send three teams forward to see how they can do in the football postseason. Leading the pack is District 31-6A king Vela, which obliterated Econ Friday, 52-0, and will advance with a 10-0 record to face Brownsville Hanna.
In holding the Jaguars (4-6) to less than 100 total yards, the SaberCats posted their second shutout of the year and head into bi-district allowing 12 ppg, scoring 48. The Hanna crew they face is 7-3 after a finale defeat against Weslaco East, and is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Eagles went 22-46 after that but under Coach Mark Guess has enjoyed a resurgent campaign.
The Eagles started the season with a loss to Econ, before the injury plague sabotaged a potentially excellent run for the Jags, and their only other losses are to San Benito and Weslaco East. They have only beaten one playoff team this season, though, a 10-7 surprise against Los Fresnos in midseason.
In Friday’s blowout of the Jags, Vela led 39-0 at the half as Nate Garcia hit on his first 11 pass attempts and fired touchdowns to Justin Cantu and senior standout Brandon Guzman. Daniel Enriquez returned yet another punt for a touch, going 68 yards with just eight seconds left in the first half.
Richard Campos was the leader on defense with eight tackles, a sack, and a blocked punt, one of four the Sabes had on the evening. Defensive lineman Arturo Pena had a sack as well, and the Vela defense has allowed just five touchdowns in the last five outings.
For Econ it was a downbeat of a closer, after injuries at running back and linebacker, and on both lines crippled the effort. Junior safety Rolando Alviso went out with a bang Friday, posting a game-best 16 tackles.
TWO MORE WORTHIES
North scored a tremendous 28-10 home upset of P-SJ-A Thursday as Cristian Flores raced for 235 yards and the defense did a fine job containing the dangerous Bears, taking six turnovers. Now the Coogs (5-5 and on a streak of three victories in four starts) have to tackle the Valley’s No. 1 team, San Benito.
The Greyhounds smashed rival Harlingen, 53-0 Friday in the Battle of the Arroyo and have been untouched all season at 10-0. After a narrow three-point win against Laredo United to start the 2017 slate, it’s been smooth sailing, as only Los Fresnos (10-point loser) gave the high-powered ‘Hounds – 30-5 the past three seasons – a go. North, in the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six years, was looking iffy a few weeks back but successive wins over P-SJ-A Memorial and the Bears puts the club in, though the first-round chore is a real challenge, on the road Thursday.
The final postseason entry is Edinburg, which finished 6-4 and now readies for a tough brawl against Los Fresnos, 7-3 and a playoff combatant for the last 12 seasons running. The Falcons wrapped up their season Friday by subduing Weslaco by 27 points and looks to now repeat last season’s achievement of a three-deep run.
EHS has faced the Falcons before, beating them soundly back in 2010 in bi-district, 45-9 on the way a three-deep journey under Coach Joey Caceres. In 2017, Los Fresnos has beaten playoff groups McAllen and East, and also knocked off McAllen Memorial, 30-6A champ, early in the campaign. The team lost to Edcouch-Elsa by 3, Hanna by 3, and San Benito by 10, showing a consistent defense and opportunistic offense all season. Thursday’s first-rounder will be at Richard R. Flores Stadium.