For the second week in a row, a city school challenged the Harlingen Cardinals, coming away with a loss but also with some respect from the state-ranked Cameron County club.
Econ put up over 300 yards and 26 points against the Cards Thursday, but surrendered 65 points in a defeat that dropped the Jags to 0-8 for the year, 0-5 in District 31-5A.
The Jags drove down for an early touchdown to lead 7-0, against a team that is now 8-0, 5-0, and ranked No. 13 by the Associated Press. Eventually, the Cards would take the measure of Econ, as they did North last week. But the Coogs and Jags each scored a superlative feat in losing; North held the vaunted Redbirds to a season low of 35 points, while the Jags' 26 markers was the most Harlingen has given up to a Valley squad in 2011.
In Coach Gabe Pena's initial season, the Jags have come up short on the scoreboard but have been competitive all the way, averaging over 300 yards of offense a night. They play at second-place Pharr North this week and finish Nov. 4 at Cats against Edinburg North.
After a 3-7 showing in 2010, the program would like to end the year on a positive note, as would North.
The Coogs have been close in several outings in 2011 but inability to mesh both units simultaneously has been a bugaboo. After Friday's excruciating 31-28 home loss to Pharr North, the team stands at 1-4 in league play and 1-7 overall.
Early on the offense was rolling along while the young defense was struggling; in recent weeks that stop crew has begun to make strides as the ball-movers have been up and down. They nearly put it all together against the conference's probable runner-up, but lost out late to the 4-1 Raiders.
This week North gets 2-3 Harlingen South, and then as stated, the Jags to close. Last year it was 0-9 before defeating the Orange 41-34 to stave off a winless season.
Despite the down season (1-15 combined), Econ and North have had some big moments from some star players. Seniors Rollie Borrego and Rudy Trevino have keyed the offense with junior Vince Ortiz dominating on defense for the Coogs. Andrew "Woody" Flores has been among the league's leading rushers all year for Pena's offense.