By Luis Arreola III
Special to the News
Sometimes, adversity strikes you down; however, it’s not about how hard you fall, it’s about getting up and overcoming the obstacle. Once the play clock expired at Bobby Lackey Stadium, one thing was certain: these San Benito Greyhounds will never quit.
For the first time this season, San Benito ended the 1st half of the ball game tied, 7-7. Ordinarily, the Hounds head to the locker room with a comfortable lead. However, in a game Weslaco needed to win to stay in playoff contention, the Panthers came out and made sure that wasn’t the case. With the offensive unit plagued by errors, the Hounds managed to rack up over 100 yards in penalties within the first-half alone. “We told our kids, don’t let the moment get to you,” said Head Coach Dan Gomez. “At no point in time did we not think this wasn’t going to be a battle.”
A battle indeed it was.
The 1st half of the game was strictly a defensive battle, resulting in Weslaco striking first. The Hounds attempted to punt, however a high snap led to the panthers to recovering the ball on the 2-yard line. Next play, Weslaco pummeled the ball through the end-zone bring the score to 7-0. San Benito QB, Erick Retta answered back, throwing a 29-yard pass to Junior wide-receiver, Isaiah Trevino. With a score of 7-7 at halftime, it’s clear that someone needed to step up their game.
San Benito answered the call. Coming out in the second half, the Hounds looked like an entirely different team
The Greyhounds received the ball at the beginning of the 2nd half. Being able to move the ball into Panther territory, Retta found Tyler Solis in the back of the end-zone, adding another TD pass to his stats sheet. Up 14-7, it was clear the Hounds were slowly getting into rhythm. “Our offense made adjustments and we were able to come out and score. Any time you score, that always brings up moral for the entire squat,” said Gomez.
With 10 minutes remaining in the 4th period, San Benito’s defense stepped on the gas, forcing Weslaco to turn the ball over on downs. The offense took the field and managed to steer the ball down to the Panther’s goal line. Retta threw for this 3rd and final TD of the night to Running back, Marcelino Morales. The extra point attempt was missed bringing the score to 20-7 with six minutes left, Weslaco attempted a fake punt, failing terribly, giving the ball back to the Hounds on the Panther’s 33-yard line. Tyrone Harper capitalized on the opportunity, pounding the ball across the goal line bringing the score to a final 27-7.
With tonight’s win, Harper has rushed for over 600 yards, an average of 6.5 yards per carry, and 10 touchdowns. Retta has thrown for over 1,800 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only 5 interceptions. With stats like that, both young men are on track for a record-breaking season.
With an impeccable district record, all eyes are on next week’s game against the rival Harlingen Cardinals. With so much at stake, a win would secure San Benito’s claim at a third straight district title. A loss would bluntly be unacceptable. Cardinals will be looking to seek out revenge from last year’s 22-21 nail bitter. This contest will be one to remember.