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It was a special night for the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies. One week after a 55-3 devastating loss to Weslaco East, Aaron Garcia’s squad rebounded in a heroic way with a 31-21 victory over the Veteran Memorial Patriots.
“This is special to us,” said Garcia after the game. The coach then added that the win was the biggest of his four years at the school. It was also the first over the Patriots.
The win was sealed by Danny Urbina’s interception on the Patriots’ final drive but it was the play of quarterback Michael Rodriguez that lifted the Huskies.
“I am so proud of Michael Rodriguez,” Garcia said when reflecting upon the game. “It was a total team effort.”
The Huskies started the game fast, putting the Patriot’s on their heals before they knew what was really happening. Martin Diaz scored from about 30 yards out on the Huskies first drive and then teammate Pedro Reyes scored from 51 yards out on the second drive.
If that wasn’t enough, Vets started the following series deep in their own territory and then concluded it three plays later by muffing the snap from shotgun. The ball sailed over Ruben Magallan’s head and then Husky Jose Vargas pounced on the ball for his team’s third touchdown.
Six minutes into the game and Juarez already had three touchdowns. Prior to the matchup, the Huskies had only scored 17 points through three games.
Though the Patriots would respond with a touchdown at the end of the first and another in the second quarter, Juarez—despite a couple muffed punts that turned into turnovers—drove at the end of half, allowing Jonathan Martinez to put three points through the upright and give his team a 10 point lead heading into the locker room.
The key to the second half for Juarez was their ability to run the ball. The turnovers were cut down as Rodriguez, Diaz and Reyes turned the offense into a three headed monster, consistently striking at a frustrated Patriot squad. Rodriguez’s 48 yard touchdown run at the end of the third pushed the Huskies to a 31-14 and they never looked back.
The momentum provided by the win will be needed for Garcia’s squad as they prepare for next week’s challenge of Edcouch-Elsa. That game will be on the road against a Yellow Jackets team that has yet to lose this season and is a favorite to compete for the district championship.
As for Veterans Memorial they will benefit by a return home to Tom Landry Stadium to take on a winless Mercedes squad.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.