PHARR - Turnovers once again plagued North last week as it gave away four in a road game at Pharr North, dropping a 35-16 decision in the District 31-5A opener Thursday.
The first two Cougar possessions ended in miscues, with the first leading to a 50-yard fumble return by the Bears (1-0, 3-1) for a 7-0 early lead.
North (0-1, 0-4) is now minus-10 in turnover ratio, as Ruben Cavazos was intercepted twice while completing just 7 of 20 balls for 143 yards. The Coogs got a great game from senior Frankie Garcia who ran 67 yards for a TD in the first half and later took flat pass in from the 49.
North fell behind 14-0 but scored nine in a row, allowing a touchdown inside the final minute of the first half to go down, 21-9, at the break. Garcia scored for the second time at 6:19 of the third to narrow the gap to five at 21-16 but the Bears drove 80 yards to put it away.
Robert Rodriguez had another tremendous effort Thursday with 15 tackles, while fellow linebackers Alan Garza (11) and Blaze Walker (eight in his best night of 2010) also were active against the run-based P-SJ-A attack. Defensive back Moises Beltran contributed 10 stops for an injury-depleted unit.
The Coogs now look to a home game Friday against P-SJ-A Memorial.
JAGS WIN WITH BIG NIGHT FROM HAMPTON
HARLINGEN - Faced with a 10-0 deficit Friday against South, the Jags turned to their money man, and he delivered once again.
Nelson Hampton collected 149 yards on the ground to lead his team to a 28-17 victory on the road, scoring twice in the second period to save the day. The second TD came with just four seconds left in the half, giving the Jags (1-0 in District 31-5A, 3-1 overall) a lead of 14-10.
South came back to take the edge, 17-14 in the third, but senior Edgar Cuevas found Sergio Jimenez for a 5-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter and Econ never trailed from there.
The Orange will be back to work Thursday with a vital home game at Cats Stadium against improved P-SJ-A, also 1-0, 3-1 in 2010.
NORTH AT P-SJ-A
NORTH (0-1, 0-4) 6-3-7-0 — 16
PSJA (1-0, 3-1) 14-7-7-7 — 35
P: Jesse Castillo 50 fumble return (Luis Barbosa kick) 8:28
P: Noel Zuniga 1 run (Barbosa kick) 5:22
N: Frankie Garcia 67 run (kick blocked) 4:18
N: Josue Morales 21 FG 4:48
P: Freddy Herrera 8 pass from Bryan Ramirez (Barbosa kick) 0:51
N: Garcia 49 pass from Ruben Cavazos (Morales kick) 6:19
P: A.J. de la Cerda 33 pass from Ramirez (Barbosa kick) 3:08
P: Ruben Garcia 1 run (Barbosa kick) 4:21
NORTH: FD 11; RUSH 162; PASS 143; TOTAL 295; TO 4
RUSHING: Garcia 1-67; Michael Bryan 16-63; Rollie Borrego 4-17; Ramiro Uresti 3-11; Michael Pacheco 1-7; Cavazos 1-(-3)
PASSING: Cavazos 7-20-2 143
RECEIVING: Garcia 2-82; Jake Hrbacek 2-17; Michael Hinojosa 1-15; Borrego 1-10; Bryan 1-9
TACKLES: Robert Rodriguez 15; Alan Garza 11; Moises Beltran 10; Blaze Walker 8; Christian Marin 8; Amaury Diaz 7; T.J. Salinas 7; Jerry de la Garza 5/FUM RECOV: Matt Vargas
PSJA: FD 20; RUSH 291; PASS 84; TOTAL 375; TO 1
ECON AT SOUTH
ECON (1-0, 3-1) 0-0-14-14 - 28
SOUTH (0-1, 0-4) 7-3-0-7 — 17
S: Zach Flores 5 run (Joaquin Garcia kick) 0:55
S: Garcia 27 FG 5:08
E: Nelson Hampton 44 run (Angel Duran kick) 9:42
E: Hampton 20 run (Duran kick) 0:04
S: Andrew Maynard 13 pass from Flores (Garcia kick) 9:39
E: Sergio Jimenez 5 pass from Edgar Cuevas (Duran kick) 6:14
E: Andrew Garza 20 fumble return (Duran kick) 0:00
ECON: FD 16; RUSH 231; PASS 33; TOTAL 264; TO 3
RUSHING: Hampton 23-149; Rey Trevino 13-53; James Villarreal 4-12; Marcus Salinas 1-7; Nathan Monterrosa 4-6; Cuevas 4-4
PASSING: Cuevas 5-13-2 33
RECEIVING: Rogelio Ramirez 1-26; Jimenez 1-5; Hampton 2-2