A series in the fourth quarter illustrates how one-sided the game at Cats Stadium was Thursday. Edinburg had run just eight plays in the second half so far as Pharr North had methodically played keep-away the entire game with its ball control offense. The Bobcats hit a couple of passes down to the Raider 39, trailing 34-7. Then, quarterback Stevie Guerrero was hounded for sacks on three straight snaps, reversing the ball all the way back to the EHS 39.

In all, North (5-0 in District 31-5A, 8-0 overall) collected seven sacks, limited the ‘Cats to 104 total yards, and completely dominated on offense, running 66 times for 327 yards in a win that was too easy. Edinburg gained just three first downs after the break and 10 for the game, and though Guerrero was 9 of 14 for 125 yards, the avalanche of sacks and an inability to move the ball on the ground doomed Edinburg (3-2, 4-4).

Now it remains for the ‘Cats to rebound with a win on the road against cellar-dweller Harlingen South with a season finale waiting Nov. 6 against always tough Edinburg North. Barring a late collapse, the Bobcats will still visit the playoffs for the first time since 2005; they could have clinched with an upset of Pharr North, but can still make it with a win over either South or the Cougars. Their likely bi-district opponent is up in the air. If Edinburg can win out, it will get third place ahead of Edinburg North.

Coach Joey Caceres’ team came in on a roll, having won four of five since a 0-2 start, but from the beginning against the Raiders, it just wasn’t going to be.

Isaac Escobar’s weak 18-yard punt on the first possession gave North a shot from the EHS 41, and the Raiders scored in eight plays, with senior fullback J.J. Rodriguez going over from the 1 at 7:09. It was the first of five TDs for Rodriguez, who now has 20 six-pointers on the year.

Another subpar punt set the Raiders up at their 43, and time it took them 10 plays to cross the goal-line for a 13-0 lead, after David Guevara (19 tackles, fellow LB Ciro Reyna led with a career-high 22) blocked the extra point. Rodriguez had banged in from the 1 again, at 1:02.

The ‘Cats, who could not parlay their size advantage up front into any running consistency, got a big kick return of 47 yards from senior Manny Menchaca (who also caught five balls for 56 yards) but later Freddy Guajardo was stopped cold on a fourth-and-3 run by North linebacker Christian Morgado (three sacks) at the Raider 35.

In the second period, North added another tally with a 59-yard march punctuated by a 38-yard burst from QB Noe Garcia and culminated with another Rodriguez six, this time from 4 yards away at 3:18.

Having tried and failed to dent the North front, Edinburg went to the air, with Guerrero finding Menchaca for 12 and Noe Gonzalez for 17. From the North 18, Guerrero looked left and then came quickly back across the middle with a strike to Steve Trevino on the skinny post for an 18-yard TD at 1:33; it would be the only home team scratch of the night.

Up, 20-7 at the half, the Raiders completed a 38-yard bomb and got another Rodriguez score to take a 20-point lead at 9:09 of the third. They simply kept the ball most of the half, grinding out another TD drive and running off 13 plays on another before Reyna and Guevara made the stop on fourth down at their own 19.

This week’s Harlingen-North contest at P-SJ-A Stadium will be for the league title in all accounts, while the Bobcats look to lock up a spot in the postseason against South at Boggus Stadium.

PHARR NORTH

AT EHS

PN 13 7 7 7 - 34

EHS 0 7 0 0 - 7

SCORING

PN: J.J. Rodriguez 1 run (Joe Ruiz kick) 7:09

PN: Rodriguez 1 run (Ruiz kick) 1:08

E: Steve Trevino 18 pass from Stevie Guerrero (Jaime Juarez kick) 3:18

PN: Rodriguez 4 run (Ruiz kick) 1:33

PN: Rodriguez 17 run (Ruiz kick) 9:09

PN: Rodriguez 11 run (Ruiz kick) 7:26

STATS

PN: FD 23; RUSH 327; PASS 49; TOTAL 376; TO 0

EHS: RUSH -21; PASS 125; TOTAL 104: TO 0

RUSH: Freddy Guajardo 5-12; Jaime Sauceda 5-12; Aaron Garza 1-2; Manny Menchaca 1-(-1); Guerrero 13-(-46)

PASS: Guerrero 9-14-0 125

RECEIVING: Menchaca 5-56; Trevino 2-32; Noe Gonzalez 1-11; Marc Elizarraraz 1-26

TACKLES: Ciro Reyna 22; David Guevara 19; Sal Martinez 11; Jeremy Salinas 10; Mike Padilla 10; Joe Fuentes 7; Paul Silva 5; Bryan Garza 5; Aaron Sifuentes 5; Rogelio Ortiz 5

HARLINGEN 49,

ECON 14

HARLINGEN - The Jags gained some yards last week but also gave up a ton in losing to Harlingen 49-14 on the road.

Econ (1-4, 3-5) picked up 290 total yards with Edgar Cuevas coming on to throw for 120, including a 42-yard TD to Nelson Hampton. But the defense allowed 310 passing yards as the Jags lost for the third straight week.

The next try from the Orange comes Thursday against P-SJ-A at Cats Stadium.

NORTH 56,

HARLINGEN SOUTH 7

Matt Munoz tossed five touchdown passes Friday night as the Cougars pounded winless Harlingen South, 56-7 at Cats Stadium

Completing 14 of 25 for 271 yards, Munoz found JoeMar Vazquez for scores of 41 and 53, and now has 15 TD balls versus just three interceptions. The senior also leads the city in rushing with 710 yards, and added a 21-yard six-point run against the Hawks, who got 177 total yards and turned it over four times.

North (3-2, 5-3) now looks to a matchup at home Friday against P-SJ-A Memorial, with the season finale Nov. 6 against EHS. The Coogs can clinch a third straight playoff trip with a win against the Wolverines, who are 2-3 in league along with P-SJ-A.

NOTES: Look for more on city high school football on the paper’s Web site midweek.

CITY FOOTBALL STATS

OFFENSE

RUSH PASS TOT AVG PTS

NORTH 1403 1634 3037 379.6 263

ECON 1268 819 2087 260.9 159

EHS 1166 903 2069 258.6 132

DEFENSE

EHS 1554 756 2310 288.8 167

NORTH 1409 1023 2432 304.0 205

ECON 1239 1355 2594 324.3 200

RUSHING

ATT YDS AVG TD

Munoz, North 97 710 7.3 7

Hampton, Econ 74 454 6.0 6

Edwards, North 67 454 6.8 2

Sauceda, EHS 76 401 5.3 3

Maxwell, EHS 64 327 5.1 1

Vazquez, Econ 56 277 5.0 0

PASSING

ATT COMP YDS PCT TD INT

Munoz, No. 186 116 1349 62.4 15 3

Villarreal, Econ 92 42 699 45.7 7 3

Guerrero, EHS 87 41 549 47.1 3 3

Escobar, EHS 50 25 352 50.0 1 2

RECEIVING

REC YDS AVG TD

Trevino, EHS 33 497 15.1 5

Ramirez, No. 33 403 12.2 5

Quiroz, No. 29 305 10.5 5

Cardenas, No. 18 246 13.7 1

Partida, No. 22 284 12.9 5

Menchaca, EHS 20 275 13.8 0

SCORING

TD PAT FG PTS

Hampton, Econ 10 0 0 62

Guajardo, North 0 32 4 44

Ramirez, North 7 0 0 42

Munoz, North 7 0 0 42

Guajardo, EHS 6 0 0 36

Partida, North 5 0 0 30

Trevino, EHS 5 0 0 30

Quiroz, North 5 0 0 30