Saturday, July 21, 2018
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20170901 Football Pioneer-vs-Mustangs GU IMG 6237High school football is back and Big 7 teams got off to an impressive start, making noise in Week 1 non-district action by going 5-2 as a whole.


Headlining the Week 2 Big 7 matchups is The Battle of Conway as the Mission Veterans Memorial Patriots and Mission Eagles are set for a showdown 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Donna at Bennie LaPrade Stadium. For more on The Battle of Conway, see our game preview.


District 31-5A Football

Pioneer Diamondbacks
A year after their first playoff berth and co-district championship, the Pioneer Diamondbacks opened the season with a battle against another of the Valley’s top teams in the McAllen Memorial Mustangs.


Heading into halftime, the Diamondbacks were trailing 20-17, but the Mustangs enforced their will and capitalized on Pioneer mistakes to take a 41-24 win. Junior quarterback Jacob Rosales finished the game with 138 yards through the air with one touchdown, and he rushed for 127 yards and another two scores.


Pioneer Head Coach Jason Wheeler will be looking to rebound in Week 2 as they travel to take on the Brownsville Pace Vikings 11 a.m., Saturday at Sams Memorial Stadium in Brownsville. The Vikings (1-0) are coming off a 28-0 shutout victory of P.S.J.A. Southwest. In last year’s meeting, the Diamondbacks won big by a score of 41-7, which sparked the team’s 8-3 run.


Sharyland Rattlers
Head Coach Ron Adame and the Sharyland Rattlers are out to put Week 1 in the rearview mirror after a 62-0 loss at the hands of the Weslaco East Wildcats, who is considered one of the Valley’s best teams.


The Rattlers elected to keep quarterback Edgar Longoria out of the season opener as he returns from injury.


Standing in the way of the Rattlers in Week 2 are the Edinburg North Cougars (0-1). In 2016, the Rattlers prevailed 20-17 in a tight game between the two eventual playoff teams. Now, Sharyland will be out to erase last week’s performance from memory and get on the winning track at home.


The game between the Rattlers and Edinburg North is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Richard Thompson Stadium.


District 30-6A
Juarez-Lincoln Huskies
The Juarez-Lincoln Huskies and Head Coach Tomas Garcia made a statement in their 34-7 Week 1 thrashing of the P.S.J.A. Memorial Wolverines. Senior quarterback Efren Martinez threw for 106 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with receivers Joe and Albert Martinez. Senior standout safety Elias Gutierrez got in on the offensive action and scored a 66-yard run, as did senior fullback Joseph Valdez, who punched in a score of his own.


Next up for the Huskies is a showdown with the Rio Hondo Bobcats in Week 2.


In last year’s matchup, the Bobcats handed the Huskies their first loss of the year by a score of 27-14 in Rio Hondo. This year, Juarez-Lincoln hosts the Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. tonight at La Joya Football Stadium for a shot at revenge and a 2-0 start.


Palmview Lobos
The Palmview Lobos opened their season with a dramatic 16-10 overtime win over the Roma Gladiators, avenging last year’s 41-7 blowout loss on the road a season ago. Senior quarterback Amador De Leon threw for 134 yards and one touchdown while senior fullback Miguel Gamma scored the game-winning overtime touchdown on the ground from a few yards out.


Next up for the Lobos is a road game against the Edinburg Economedes Jaguars (1-0), who handed Palmview a 43-13 loss in Week 2 in 2016. The Jaguars are coming off a 19-14 victory over Brownsville Hanna, but Palmview will have revenge on their mind for the second week in a row.


The game between the Lobos and the Jaguars is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Richard R. Flores Stadium in Edinburg.


La Joya Coyotes
The La Joya Coyotes were victorious in their season opener 20-7 over the Rio Grande City Rattlers, avenging last year’s 12-7 loss. Senior quarterback Irving Garcia rushed for 92 yards and a score while sophomore running back Eddie Villarreal racked up 171 yards and a touchdown of his own on 37 carries. The La Joya defense also forced the Rattlers into four turnovers.


The Coyotes kicked off Week 2 on Thursday taking on the Roma Gladiators. The results of that game were not available at press time.