Can’t wait till Friday? The lights SHINE bright on Thursday night. Let us help you dive into this week’s Thursday games. Does McAllen Memorial get back on track? Who gets their first win in the battle of the Norths? Is this the start of another win streak for RGC? Can Palmview give Pace their first district lost this season?
La Joya High @ McAllen Memorial:
Before week 5, La joya had only given up 41 points on the season. The Coyotes ran into a tough PSJA Bears team that they could not stop, 70 points allowed in their week 5 matchup. La Joya is looking to get to .500 in district with a win against Memorial. Coach Farias will need to prep his defense to contain the run while his offensive moves the chains slowly to keep the Mustangs offense off the field.
Mcallen Memorial is coming off a tough battle against a great Mission Eagles team which ended in a devastating last second lost. In week 6, we will see if the Stangs can get back on the saddle towards a district title. Coach Littleton will look to double down behind RB Campbell Speights to get lead and control the clock. Passing early and trusting QB Joseph Lara would be a perfect way to open up the run game and spook the Coyotes.
This will be a tough battle upfront seeing that both teams have run heavy offenses, but I see the the Memorial defense being the X factor in this one. La Joya with only 57 points scored is going to have a hard time scoring on a defense led by last season honorable mention all-state pick LB Michael Morales.
Coyotes Players to Watch:
RB #27 Eddie Villarreal, OL #52 Alex Rodriguez, LB #25 Daniel Salinas
Mustangs Players to Watch:
RB Campbell Speights, LB #13 Michael Morales, QB #11 Joseph Lara
Donna North @ Edinburg North:
It can be tough being six weeks into your season and your team’s record is 0–5, Donna North looks to spoil the Cougars’ homecoming festivities and have a victory party of their own. Taking home a win will be a tough task even though the Chiefs opponent is also 0–5, they have struggled on both sides of the ball only scoring 29 points and allowing 189 points so far this season. Coach Marichalar will try to get some kind of spark on offense this week after laying a goose egg against a tough Weslaco East team in week 5. Donna North’s bright spot is their experience, returning 8 starters on offense and their leader on defense, LB Cristian Cortinas.
Queue the decoration, mums, and the parade, despite the distractions Edinburg North has to show up to play a football game Thursday night. Scheduling wise, picking this opponent for their homecoming game was probably their best bet to walk away with a win but the outcome is never predetermined and as we’ve seen, anything can happen. Coach Gonzalez will look to keep his team focused on the task at hand and defend their northern kingdom from the invading Chiefs. The Cougars will look to run the ball with Senior RB Jacob Peralez and hope that QB Michael Rodriguez will connect often with his top two wide outs, Sergio Quintanilla and Brendan Borrego. In the same boat as Donna North, the cougars have struggled to keep people out of the endzone, allowing 167 points this season while scoring only 62.
With all their bannerman in attendance, Edinburg North will fight hard to make sure they come out victorious and I just don’t see Donna North playing the spoilers no matter the distractions. The Cougars claim the north and raise their record to 1–5.
Chiefs Players to Watch:
LB #1 Cristian Cortinas, QB #2 Brandon Escobar, RB #5 Alex Benavides
Cougars Players to Watch:
RB #5 Jacob Peralez, QB #7 Michael Rodriguez, WR #4 Sergio Quintanilla
Rio Grande City @ PSJA Memorial:
Rio Grande City looks to establish themselves as one of the top teams in District 16 5A Division 1 with a win this week. The Rattlers started the season off winning three games in a row before dropping one to Mission Veterans Memorial in week 4. Then RGC rebounded with a big win over Brownsville Veterans Memorial in week 5 and wants the momentum to keep rolling as they faceoff against PSJA Memorial. Behind QB Mario Garza and Coach Mireles’ up-tempo offense, RGC will look to add to their 214 points so far this season. With good size and experience on the offense line, QB Garza (13 passing TDs & 1000+ YDs) and RB Angel Galvan (4 rushing TDs & 312 rushing YDs) will be able to put up their usual numbers.
PSJA Memorial ended the 2018 season at 4–6 and continued to struggle this year starting the 2019 season off 0–5. In a ten team district, where every game counts, the wolverines needed to get it going like three weeks ago. Coach Brown will look to exploit match-ups to get WR Michael Munoz the ball and limit QB Alejandro Leyva’s interceptions to have any chance to keep up with the Rattlers high scoring offense. The Wolverines have struggled, especially on defense giving up 210 points up in the past five games, they look to turn their season around to try to finish the year at .500.
Barring an upset, RGC adds another one in the win column and moves to 5–1 on the season in efforts to stay in the top four in their district, PSJA Memorial moves to 0–6 and goes back to the drawing board during their bye week in week 7.
Rattlers Players to Watch:
QB #10 Mario Garza, RB #23 Angel Galvan, S #8 Marc Perez
Wolverines Players to Watch:
RB/LB #18 Anthony Pedraza, WR #23 Michael Munoz, QB #14 Alejandro Leyva
Brownsville Pace @ La Joya Palmview:
Looking to stay on top of their district, 4–1 Brownsville Pace will travel across the valley to play their biggest district competition so far this season in La Joya Palmview. Pace after securing a big win over PSJA Southwest two weeks ago, seemed to cool down and barely scrape by PSJA Memorial last week. The Vikings’ offensive attack will be led by dual threat QB Jose Banda and RB Dylan Barron, who have both helped the team put up 108 points this season. Coach Pardo will look to conjure up the right plays to finally get Senior WR Ilijah Solis into the endzone and to put the Pace defense in the right position to slow down the Lobos’ overpowered rushing attack.
Losing early to La Joya High and Rio Grande City, Palmview has since been on a three game winning streak behind their lead running back Carlos Pena. Pena is currently leading the state in 5A with 972 rushing yards, he has 7 touchdowns and is averaging 194.4 yards per game. The Lobos will look to grind out a victory with their Wing-T offense and their two other offensive weapons in QB David Gonzalez and RB AJ Chapa.
This is the Game to Watch this thursday and I expect so see a lot of explosive running on both sides of the ball. Pace pulled out the victory last year at home and even though I see this game coming down to the wire I think the Viking sail back home with a win.
Vikings Players to Watch:
QB #9 Jose Banda, RB #22 Dylan Barron, LB #5 Andrew Gonzalez
Lobos Players to Watch:
RB #21 Carlos Pena, QB #9 David Gonzalez, RB #22 AJ Chapa