The road got tougher for EHS Thursday, with a 38-34 loss at home to P-SJ-S Memorial, a double OT thriller that saw the Bobcats lead four times but fall short in extra time.
Now at 3-3 in District 31-5A and 5-4 overall, the ‘Cats still control their own destiny, as a victory at Harlingen South Nov. 4 will put them into the postseason, with San Benito the likely bi-district opponent in Class 5A Division I play.
The Memorial game was a heartbreaker, as the team led almost the whole way before falling in the second OT. Quarterback Ramon Enriquez came up with two fourth-down completions in the first extra session to extend the night after the Wolverines (4-2, 6-3) had scored seven to begin. Enriquez found Sal Martinez on a 24-yard gainer to convert a fourth-and-22 play, and then fired a fourth-and-six bullet to Robert "Twigs" Olivarez to tie the game at 31.
A dropped pass on third down forced Edinburg to rely on Kristov Martinez, who booted a 37-yard field goal and a 34-31 advantage in the second OT. But when Memorial managed a touchdown, it was over.
The ‘Cats, who had won three in a row coming in, got a quick score to begin off a turnover, while Memorial countered with a long scoring drive. This set the tone for a back-and-forth affair in which EHS led four times before the thrilling final denouement.
For the game, the offense collected 312 yards and the defense allowed 369. Penalties and lack of concentration again hurt the EHS effort, though Enriquez enjoyed his best game as a Bobcat, going 10 of 17 for 150 yards.
Sal Martinez made 13 tackles, an interception, and a punt return for a score, while Kristov Martinez was 2 for 3 on field goals, converted four extra points without a miss, and had consistent touchbacks in kickoffs. His 34-yard field goal with 7:48 left installed the squad in a 24-17 lead but Memorial rallied to tie it once again with a pass at 6:07.
P-SJ-A MEMORIAL AT EHS
PM (4-2, 6-3) 7 7 0 10 7 7 - 38
EHS (3-3, 5-4) 7 7 7 3 7 3 - 34
E: Alex Trevino 19 run (Kristov Martinez kick) 11:40
E: Victor Montemayor 1 run (K. Martinez kick) 9:11
E: Sal Martinez 36 punt return (K. Martinez kick) 3:38
E: K. Martinez 34 FG 7:48
E: Robert Olivarez 9 pass from Ramon Enriquez (K. Martinez kick)
E: K. Martinez 37 FG
P-SJ-A MEMORIAL: FD 25; RUSH 129; PASS 240; TOTAL 369; TO 2
EHS: FD 17; RUSH 147; PASS 165; TOTAL 312; TO 1
RUSH: Trevino 5-59; Montemayor 14-35; Favian Quintanilla 5-30; Arnie Alvarado 6-15; Justin Hernandez 1-9; S. Martinez 3-6; Enriquez 2-(-7)
PASS: Enriquez 10-17-0 150; S. Martinez 1-1-0 5
RECEIVING: Zach Faires 3-45; Anthony Acosta 3-43; Quintanilla 2-34; S. Martinez 1-24; Hernandez 1-10; Olivarez 1-9
TACKLES: Adam Alonzo 13; S. Martinez 13; Matthew Guerrero 12; Johnny Espinoza 10; Adrian Aguilar 10; Armando Celedon 7; Anthony de la Vina 7; Jazz Trevino 5; Esteban Lozano 5/INT: S. Martinez; FUM REC: Alonzo
JAGS-COOGS CLASH SET FOR FRIDAY
With the playoffs out of sight and time on the fly, Roy Garza decided to let the kids go for it. And with a trusty senior quarterback enjoying and finishing his best game ever, that was a pretty good choice.
Joel Cuellar's two-point conversion in the final 25 seconds followed his fifth touchdown of the night, handing North a 42-41 win over Harlingen South at Cats Stadium Friday. Cuellar also passed for 239 yards to help North win for the second time this year, as the team put a recent stretch of near misses out of the way.
The Coogs got down early 10-0 but the combination of Cuellar to Tevin Brown helped a comeback into a 27-13 halftime lead. Senior Rollie Borrego returned from an injury to have a great rushing game, which came in handy after Reyes Espino injured an ankle in the opening minutes.
The Hawks (2-4, 2-7) came back to take the lead late but Cuellar marched the squad down to win it at the tape.
"It's been that way all year, close games, and we should have won a few more," said Garza, whose club winds up 2011 Friday at home against rival Econ. "We haven't been able to finish games, convert and make plays on third and fourth downs. But against South we just decided to go for it, with nothing to lose."
As the week began the Coogs had still been mathematically alive in the 31-5A race, but with EHS's loss to P-SJ-A Memorial Thursday, they went out. For Garza, the campaign has been less than satisfying, although he does feel good about the way his kids have fought through every week.
"I think we all thought we had the talent to make the playoffs, and I still believe that," said the veteran coach who took North to three straight playoff trips from 2007 to 2009. "But you have to be able to make plays in the clutch and we struggled with that. If we come up with a few big things late in games, we might change the result right there. But we have some seniors who are going to be playing their last home game Friday and we're pretty excited about that."
The Jags come into the traditional grudge match at 0-9 but with an entertaining brand of football that makes them fun to watch. Coach Gabe Pena's first Orange bunch has scored some points and run up impressive rushing totals. Last year it was a wild one with the Coogs winning 41-34 to avoid a 0-10 campaign.
SOUTH AT NORTH
SOUTH (2-4, 2-7) 10 3 21 7 - 41
NORTH (2-4, 2-7) 6 21 0 15 - 42
N: Joel Cuellar 4 run (kick failed) 5:19
N: Cuellar 4 run (pass failed) 11:49
N: Cuellar 21 run (Reyes Espino kick) 6:50
N: Cuellar 6 run (Cuellar run) 2:32
N: Tevin Brown 43 pass from Cuellar (Espino kick) 4:15
N: Cuellar 7 run (Cuellar run) 0:25
NORTH: FD 24; RUSH 259; PASS 239; TOTAL 498; TO 6
RUSH: Rollie Borrego 22-174; Cuellar 19-71; Espino 3-14
PASS: Cuellar 16-27-2 239
RECEIVING: Brown 7-133; Mike Hinojosa 4-47; Eddie Sanchez 3-47; Borrego 1-(-7); Michael Garcia 1-19
SOUTH: FD 15; RUSH 133; PASS 297; TOTAL 430; TO 2