MISSION - It was a long night for the Veterans Memorial Patriots. Needing a win to push the back into the winners’ column and at least tied for fourth place, the Patriots’ offense struggled in a 19-8 loss to Roma.
Using their fourth different quarterback since district play started, the center-quarterback exchange struggled all night. Senior Jose Hidrogo-natural at running back but forced to throw due to multiple quarterback injuries-struggled to find his receivers.
Roma scored first on a 39 touchdown run about halfway through the first quarter. The extra-point would be no good as it bounced off the left upright.
Veterans, after committing interceptions on their last three possessions, finally put a strong drive together three minutes before halftime. Led by catches by Ricardo Alvarez and Gabriel Zamora, Vets moved all the way down to the three yard-line. From there, the natural runner HIdrogo punched the ball in. With the extra-point, the Patriots had the lead.
However, the defense would not have the same luck on the opposite end of the field. The Patriots attempted to surprise Roma with an onside kick, hoping to get another score in before the half ended. However, an alert Roma defender foiled the plan by recovering the kick.
Using the short field and possessing all three timeouts, Roma patiently worked their way down the field before scoring on a touchdown pass. Though the two-point conversion failed, Roma went into the half with a 12-7 lead.
The second half consisted of more of the same: Patriot offense struggled while the defense did its best to keep Roma from scoring. However, three minutes into the second half Roma again found itself in the endzone, this time completing the PAT, giving the Gladiators a 19-7 lead. The 12 point lead turned out to be all they would need.
Looking ahead, Veterans Memorial does not have an easy October. Next week’s game at Rio Grande City will feature the current head coach at Veterans Memorial against former Patriot coach Raul Longoria. The Rattlers have had a solid year since starting 0-2. The Rattlers are now 3-1 in the district and gave East a run for their money last night. After the Rattlers, the Patriots have to look forward to taking the district favorites in back to back weeks.
The Gladiators are currently in fourth place. Next week’s showdown versus Edcouch-Elsa will say much about the team.
Other District 32-4A scores
Edcouch-Elsa 48 Valley View 0: The Yellow-Jackets must be doing everything they can do ensure their October 21 meeting with Weslaco East will be for the district championship. Valley View, on the other hand, is still trying to figure things out.
Weslaco East 28 Rio Grande City 14: The Rattlers had this game tied up at 14 before letting the running Wildcats loose. However, in a way this is a moral victory. RGC is playing good football and have a big game versus Veterans Memorial next week. As noted above, East is working their way to an epic showdown with E-E.
Hidalgo 16 Mercedes 14: The Pirates needed this one. With the win the smallest school in the district is just outside of the top four. With a date versus Valley View in a week, Hidalgo is ready to compete for a playoff spot when they face Roma the following week. For the Mercedes Tigers, lots of work to do if they want any opportunity for the post season.
Sharyland 38 Palmview 9: After the squeaked out win of a week ago, the Rattlers got back to business by handling the Lobos easily. Next week could be epic as the Rattlers have a date with fellow undefeated district foe Memorial. The Lobos, currently in the fourth spot, have a key matchup with Nikki Rowe who is just a game behind.
McHi 38 Mission 27: This one was a heartbreaker for the Eagles as they blew a 27-17 lead. With no district wins, the Eagles face an up-field battle here on out. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are sitting just outside the top four, alongside Rowe.
Donna 35 Rowe 7: The Redskins shook off last week near upset over Sharyland, taking the hammer to the Warriors. Redskins have McHi next week while Rowe takes on the Lobos.
Memorial 42 La Joya 14: The Mustangs are playing great football and will have plenty of confidence heading into next week’s epic matchup with Sharyland. The Coyotes, unfortunately, are losing more and more confidence as each week comes and goes. Next week’s battle with Mission will be a fight for both teams to earn their first district win.
DISTRICT 32-4A Overall District
Weslaco East 6-1 5-0
Edcouch-Elsa 6-0 4-0
Roma 2-2 3-3
Rio Grande City 3-1 3-3
Hidalgo 2-4 2-2
Mission Veterans 2-5 2-3
La Joya Juarez-Lincoln 1-5 1-3
Mercedes 1-6 1-4
Valley View 1-6 0-5
DISTICT 30-5A Overall District
Sharyland 6-0 3-0
McAllen Memorial 6-0 3-0
Donna 5-1 2-1
Palmview 4-2 2-1
Nikki Rowe 2-4 1-2
McHi 3-3 1-2
Mission 2-4 0-3
La Joya 1-5 0-3
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