Saturday, July 21, 2018
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20170929 Football SHS vs Laredo-MartinIMG 5610. GUIt’s week seven of Valley high school football and the cream has definitely risen to the top in District 31-5A. That’s because with four weeks still to go in the regular season, there are four teams that have yet to lose a district game. The Veterans Memorial Patriots (4-0), the Rio Grande City Rattlers (4-0), the Sharyland Rattlers (3-0) and the Laredo Nixon Mustangs (3-0) are sitting atop the district standings with the Pioneer Diamondbacks (1-2), the Laredo Martin Tigers (1-3), the Valley View Tigers (0-3), the Roma Gladiators (0-4) and the Laredo Cigarroa Toros (0-4) bringing up the rear.


With such a distinct dividing line between the top four teams and the bottom five, one could almost say that the district’s four playoff teams have already been decided and that all that remains is to see which one of the four emerges as the district champion. However, it may still be a bit premature to make that assumption. Especially if the top four teams knock each other off and one or more of the bottom five teams wins out.


As for District 30-6A’s teams, even though they have had two weeks less of district play, there are only three teams in that district that have yet to lose a district game. The McAllen Memorial Mustangs (2-0), the McAllen High Bulldogs (1-0) and the Nikki Rowe Warriors (1-0) are the trio of undefeateds, while the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies (1-1) and the Mission Eagles (1-1) are the only other 30-6A teams to have emerged victorious against a district opponent thus far this season.


Let’s take a look at tonight’s slate of games involving Big 7 teams to see who and where they’re each playing.


Laredo Nixon Mustangs at Veterans Memorial Patriots
In our game of the week, it’s the 3-0 Laredo Nixon Mustangs (4-1 overall) taking on the 4-0 Veterans Memorial Patriots (6-0 overall) at Mercedes’ Tiger Stadium tonight at 7:30. The Mustangs, who have won four games in a row, are coming off a bye week while the Patriots won’t be quite as rested as they are coming off a decisive 61-38 win over the Pioneer Diamondbacks.


Laredo Cigarroa Toros at Sharyland Rattlers
The Laredo Cigarroa Toros are not only 0-6 so far this season but they’ve lost all but one of their games by 22 points or more. Their most recent loss being a 38-3 drubbing at the hands of the Rio Grande City Rattlers. From the looks of it, the Toros, who have not won a district game since 2014, could very well be on their way to another winless season.


As for the Sharyland Rattlers, they seem to have shifted their offense into a higher gear once district play started. In going 3-0 thus far against Valley View, Laredo Martin and most recently Roma, the Rattlers have averaged over 42 points per game while giving up an average of 16 points. In last week’s 35-14 win over the Gladiators, the Rattlers spread the glory around with seven different players carrying the ball for a total of 225 yards rushing while five different players caught passes for a total of 117 yards of passing.


Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks at Rio Grande City Rattlers
With a 2-3 overall record and 1-2 in District 31-5A play, it’s been a disappointing first half of the season for last year’s district co-champions, the Pioneer Diamondbacks. Last week’s 61-38 loss to the Veterans Memorial Patriots only made things worse for a team that through five games this season has already given up more points than they did through 10 games last year.


Tonight the Diamondbacks will be traveling to Rio Grande City to play the 4-0 (5-1 overall) Rattlers. So far this season the Rattlers have outscored their opponents by a more than 3-1 margin, 191-62. Most recently, Rio Grande defeated Laredo Cigarroa by a score of 38-3.


A win against the Rattlers tonight will go a long way towards helping the Diamondbacks salvage their season and remain in the District 31-5A playoff hunt, while a loss could make this already seemingly long season an even longer one for Pioneer.


Nikki Rowe Warriors at Palmview Lobos
What the Diamondbacks are to District 31-5A, the 0-2 (2-4 overall) Palmview Lobos are to District 30-6A; a team that is coming off a highly successful 2016-2017 season but is off to a disappointing start in 2017-2018.  


Last year the Lobos were district runner-ups with a 4-2 district record. With two losses in as many district games already this season, including a 31-21 loss to the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies last week, it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Lobos to have another winning season against district opponents this year.


Tonight the Lobos will be taking on the 1-0 (4-1 overall) Nikki Rowe Warriors at La Joya ISD Pack Stadium. The Warriors, who defeated the Huskies in their district opener by a score of 31-28, are coming off a bye week in which they played and defeated the Grulla Gators by a score of 21-14 in a non-district match-up.  While the Lobos, who defeated Nikki Rowe by a score of 30-28 last year, are still in the running to earn their fourth playoff berth in as many years, a loss to the Warriors tonight will all but bring an end to their playoff aspirations.