LOS FRESNOS — Edinburg smashed into the area round of the state playoffs with a terrific 45-9 victory on the road over Los Fresnos Friday night. After falling behind 7-3 the Bobcats (9-2) scored twice in the second period to take a 17-7 lead into halftime, and dominated the Falcons (6-5) the rest of the way.

Next up is Sharyland, which ran to 10-1 with a victory over Del Rio Saturday night in San Antonio. The Bobcats are 1-5 lifetime against the Rattlers, including losses in 2006, 2007 and 2008. They beat Shary back in 2003.

Stevie Guerrero threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for 56 yards, with a 41-yard scramble late in the second period that led to a 20-yard hook-up with Aaron Gonzalez to make it 17-7 with 27 seconds left. End Jazz Trevino’s hard rush had caused Los Fresnos kicker Robert Degollado to hook a 41-yard field goal try that would have tied the game. Then Guerrero led the ‘Cats on a quick 4-play drive for the 10-point intermission advantage.

From there the defense took over, limiting Los Fresnos to 24 yards and two first downs down the stretch. For the game, EHS allowed seven first downs and 143 total yards, taking two turnovers, including Sal Martinez’ 38-yard fumble return for six to make it 31-9 in the third.

That defensive gem followed a 4-yard run from Gonzalez, who rushed for more than 100 for the third week in a row and scored three times to give him 15 TDs for the year. Gonzalez’ six made it 24-9, after Los Fresnos had played field position into a safety when the ‘Cats were called for holding with Guerrero back to pass in his own end zone.

Edinburg advances to the second round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, after it defeated Hanna in 2009 in bi-district before losing to Del Rio.

The ‘Cats have now rushed for 945 yards in the past three games, with the offensive line on a real roll. Center Marco Aguilar noted that his unit is performing at a superb level right now.

“I think we wore them down tonight,” said Aguilar, whose linemates include guards Moises Zavala and Joey Galvan plus tackles Edgar Bustos and junior Gabriel Lopez. “We outworked them and our endurance really came into play. The line as a whole is doing great, and 45 points, well, that’s an incredible amount to score for a playoff game.”

In fact, Aguilar is a prophet because the 45 points set a program record for single-game scoring in the playoffs, breaking the previous mark of 43 back in the 1999 regional round against Eagle Pass. It was the eighth time the ‘Cats have broken 30 in the playoffs including the 38 they put up on Harlingen South in 2003. Other highs: 34 against G-P (1983) and San Benito (1990), plus 33 versus Hanna (1993) and 31 over Pharr North (2000).

Looking ahead to the third round of the postseason, the winner of the EHS-Sharyland contest will play the victor in the San Antonio shootout between Warren and Wagner. Each of those teams was picked fourth in their district this year, and neither is terribly strong. The possibility of duplicating the program’s four-deep run back in 1999 looms on the horizon.

NOTES: The defense allowed less than 200 yards for the fourth time in 2010, following similar efforts versus La Joya (125), Edinburg North (161), and Harlingen South (173). It has now taken 24 turnovers in 11 games.

The last score of the night came from an unlikely source, as JV runner Victor Montemayor sailed 14 yards around right end with 40 seconds to go in the night.

Check with the website midweek for a preview of EHS-Sharyland.

EHS at LOS FRESNOS

EHS (9-2) 3-14-14-14 – 45

LF (6-5) 7-0-2-0 – 9

SCORING

E: Jose Risa 25 FG 3:06

L: Eric Castillo 50 run (Robert Degollado kick) 1:14

E: Aaron Gonzalez 2 run (Risa kick) 7:00

E: A Gonz 20 pass from Stevie Guerrero (Risa kick) 0:27

L: safety 9:06

E: A Gonz 4 run (Risa kick) 2:45

E: Sal Martinez 38 fumble return (Risa kick) 2:27

E: Favian Quintanilla 8 pass from Guerrero (Luis Hinojosa kick) 5:28

E: Victor Montemayor 14 run (Hinojosa kick) 0:40

STATS

EHS: FD 25; RUSH 276; PASS 130; TOTAL 405; TO 1

RUSHING: A Gonzalez 22-126; Guerrero 4-56; Quintanilla 9-31; Freddy Guajardo 6-20; Aaron Garza 4-18; Montemayor 1-14; Martinez 2-18; Arnie Alvarado 1-6; Brandon Perez 1-(-12)

PASSING: Guerrero 9-15-0 130

RECEIVING: Anthony Acosta 1-40; A Gonz 2-30; Jonathan Gonzalez 2-23; Martinez 2-21; Quintanilla 1-8; David Ramirez 1-8

TACKLES: Roy Ortiz 6; Stavern Joseph 5; Teddy Lara 5; Ciro Reyna 5; Adam Alonzo 5; Marcos Castillo 5/INT: Adrian Aguilar/FUM: Martinez/SACKS: Jazz Trevino .5; Johnny Espinoza .5; Matthew Guerrero .5; Adrian Gonzalez .5

LOS FRESNOS: FD 7; RUSH 65; PASS 78; TOTAL 143; TO 2