It was a big week for offense as all three city teams set a season best for yards gained. Leading the way was EHS, which clinched a playoff spot with a resounding 33-14 victory over P-SJ-A Memorial; the Bobcats gained 435 yards and shut down the high-octane Wolverine group, giving it just 257, way below the 436-yard average through eight gamed.
EHS (5-2, 7-2) now looks to finish up at home Thursday against Harlingen South before returning its attention to bi-district. The ‘Cats must wait to see what happens in the other ball games the following night to see a playoff opponent. At this point, probably Weslaco or Los Fresnos.
Aaron Gonzales went over 100 yards for the second week in a row to key a crunching run game that has been consistent all season. Stevie Guerrero ran for a TD and tried 13 passes without an interception, and has tossed only one all year.
North continued to battle against the odds last week and came up with a fine showing, losing late to South 42-35 at Boggus Stadium. Senior Michael Pacheco came on strong for 127 rushing yards, adding 164 through the air with two TDs. The 0-9 Coogs rallied from several deficits to tie it at 35 late, but the Hawks got it done at the end to win.
Still, North chewed up 392 yards, better than the 390 it got in the season opener against Pace.
Hard-nosed Rollie Borrego broke 100 rushing for the second straight week while Mike Hinojosa contributed six catches for 109 yards, including a 25-yarder that tied the score in the fourth.
Now North will seek to avoid being winless for the first time in its 20-year history; the opponent is Econ, on a 5-game losing streak right now. That one comes Friday at Cats Stadium, a day after EHS welcomes 1-8 Harlingen South to town.
The Cougars went 1-8 in 2004 for the worst showing in program history, with four seasons of two wins (1991, 2000, 2003, 2006). The down year comes after three straight playoff appearances and a three-deep run in 2009.
The Jag team that comes into the finale got a season-high in yards, as its two city mates did, piling up 418. The defense got shredded for 532, all on the ground, against the Raiders. The bright spot was a career-best 247 yards on the ground by Nelson Hampton, and the explosive performance leaves him 43 short of 1,000 for the year; he would become the first Jag since Wicho Jimenez in 2006 to rush for 1,000. The senior also needs just two points to hit the 100 mark.
Both teams have had their problems with injuries and attrition and have started to toss some new names into the mix. Econ Junior Danny Saavedra saw playing time against PN and went 5 for 7 at quarterback with 42 yards rushing.
As far as the season series is concerned, the Coogs lead it 6-4, with a pair of victories in a row. The Jags won in 2003-2004, and then 2006-2007. Last year Econ got out to a two-touchdown lead at the half but a missed extra point came back to haunt the squad as the Coogs rallied for the 14-13 come-from-behind triumph. Five of the 10 meetings between the two have been decided by six points or less.
Each team has a blowout to their credit, with North stomping the Jags 45-0 in the latter’s first season (2000) and the Jags returning the favor with a 59-21 laugher in 2003.