Saturday, July 21, 2018
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Week one football arrived and the highly anticipated matchup between the Pioneer Diamondbacks and Memorial Mustangs started off with tremendous back and forth action from two of the top programs in the Valley.


The Mustangs scored on their opening drive to go up 7-0 on Pioneer, but Diamondback junior quarterback Jacob Rosales found the end zone on the ground to tie the game at 7.


Memorial’s stud running back Campbell Speights was bottled up by the Pioneer defense for nearly the entire first half, only scoring on a short 3-yard rushing touchdown. Rosales responded with a big play of his own, maneuvering through the teeth of the Mustang defense for a 44-yard touchdown to even the score at 14 apiece.


On the ensuing kickoff, Memorial’s Ethan Bazan returned a squib kick for a touchdown give Memorial 20-14 lead, but Pioneer was able get in field goal range as the first half expired to head into the locker room down 20-17 and in good position.


“We played really well the first half but we were still down,” Pioneer Head Coach Jason Wheeler said. “We gave up some big plays in the passing game on some fourth down and longs and the big kickoff return so in my opinion, we spotted them 21 points. Give them credit, they made some adjustments and got somethings going and we let it slip away.”


The second half was a different story. The rushing attack of Memorial finally got lose, and penalties and untimely drops began to plague Pioneer as they dropped their season opener 41-24


Speights finished the game with 133 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Rosales put up 133 yards through the air to go with one passing touchdown, in addition to his 130 yards and one score on the ground.20170901 SHSvMcAllen6241


“We had a tough loss last year; we didn’t quit working last year so we’ll do the same thing this year,” Wheeler said. “The kids fought, the good thing is we got a good chance to be a good football team and we just got to learn from it.”


The Diamondbacks dropped last year’s season opener before going on to win a share of the District 31-5A title. Pioneer will be back in action 11 a.m. next Saturday on the road against Brownsville Pace.