Sometimes it’s just one of those nights, where nothing seems to go right, everything seems to go way wrong, and basically you know pretty quick that it’s just not going to happen.
This is what befell North Thursday as a well-oiled Weslaco East team came calling and throttled the Cougars, 42-0 with a steady display of smash-mouth football, a couple of time bombs thrown in for good measure.
The Wildcats (3-0 in District 31-6A and 4-3 overall) could have beaten anyone in the Valley Thursday; it just happened that North was the obstacle on the field. The ‘Cats, who now have shut out three league foes in succession, allowed the Coogs a mere 121 total yards, gaining 511 of their own en route to two touchdowns in each of the first three periods before letting a foot off the pedal in the fourth. This was the fifth time in eight starts that the Coogs have surrendered more than 400 yards to an opposing offense.
The die was cast super early in un-East-like fashion. Normally the type of club who runs the ball and comes looking for someone to hit, East struck on two lightning scores in the first four minutes of the night, a 64-yard run and a 65-yard pass. The Wildcats had thrown all of 27 passes in their first six outings, yet went tricky Thursday, completing six out of six for three TDs. The second aerial strike came on a double pass with 0:28 left in the first half, making it 28-0.
To this point, North had managed one first down, early in the second, and would get one more in the waning seconds of a dismal half. Game over, basically.
Now, the good news is that with two games remaining, the Coogs (2-1, 2-6) still hold their destiny in hand. It might come down to a Halloween showdown with Economedes, after this week’s bye, where a North victory would be the magical third league win to probably clinch the fourth spot.
Having beaten Donna North and EHS, while losing to Vela and East, the team still has to play Weslaco, and that is looking like a very difficult muster to be honest.
This makes the Oct. 31 battle with the Jags a must-win. It has to get better than Thursday because North was just overwhelmed by a strong and physical East squad that has been gaining steam in recent weeks.
There was no room to run where the Coogs try and make their bones, between the tackles, although Jacob Peralez did manage 63 yards on 15 carries. Throw in the fact that the normally reliable receiver corps committed five drops of catchable passes, and it was a long night.
The main weapon on the night was Sergio Quintanilla, who punted well throughout, keeping the ball high and angled away from dangerous East back Ramsey Vazquez. However. Vasquez did make his mark with two running touchdowns, including a 95-yard scamper in the third quarter. That race to the downs came on a third-and-25 snap, after it looked like the Coogs might get a good shot at averting the shutout.
That the Wildcats not only converted, but went all the way, was indicative of the sort of struggle that was Thursday.
As suggested, every now and then, you toss the game film, give the kids some time off to recoup, and get back at it once again. Washing this defeat away is imperative, with a playoff berth on the line in the coming weeks.