The Palmview Lobos will be entering Cat’s Memorial Stadium in Edinburg tonight for their game against the Vela Sabercats with a 1-3 district record. If all goes as planned for Coach Manuel Flores’ Lobos, not only will they be leaving the field and boarding the buses at 2-3, but they will also be doing so with their playoff hopes still alive.
With a two-point loss to Juarez-Lincoln in Week 2 and a one-point loss to Edinburg North last week, the Lobos could easily be 3-1 right now, if only they had executed two or three plays better. As Flores explains, whether the Lobos emerge victorious from tonight’s game will depend on how well his players execute.
“Execution is our key to victory,” said Flores. “Offensively, we have to control the ball and keep their offense off the field. Defensively, we need to make sure that we get some three and outs like we were able to do against Edinburg North. We had them pinned in bad field position most of the night, but we just couldn’t capitalize on it.”
Flores said, failure to execute against the Cougars Friday night resulted in missed opportunities to score points that could’ve made a difference in the outcome of the game.
“The best way to sum up the Edinburg North game is that we missed a lot of opportunities,” said Flores. “We had nine out of 16 possessions inside their own territory, but we just couldn’t walk away with points. That was pretty much the determining factor in the outcome.”
While their most recent loss has made the road to the playoffs more difficult for the Lobos, Flores likes the fact that his players are still fighting.
“I’m very proud of the kids,” said Flores. “They fight hard. Aside from the Donna game we’ve been pretty much in every ball game that we’ve played. Even going back to the Mission game, realistically we should be 5-1 right now. But that’s not the case and the important thing right now is for our athletes to realize that we’re not out of the playoff hunt.”
With five teams above them in the District 30-5A standings and with only four games left on the schedule, the Lobos find themselves in a do-or-die situation against the Sabercats tonight if they are to have any realistic chance of capturing one of the four available playoff spots.
“We have to pretty much run the table and then hope that we get help from other teams. Our kids understand that and we’re going to prepare accordingly,” explained Flores.
While there are several different scenarios that could result in Palmview making the playoffs, Flores shared one he believes to be the most likely.
“The big picture is that we need help from other teams,” said Flores. “The best scenario if it plays itself out would be having three teams tied for fourth place. We would obviously have to beat one of those three teams that are still on our schedule. Then we’d hopefully go to a tiebreaker.”
At first glance, the fact that the Sabercats have a 0-7 record might make tonight’s game look like an easy win for the Lobos. Flores knows however that Vela’s record is deceptive and that as a result his Lobos have to take the young Vela team seriously if they are going to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“Their record is not a true indication of how well they’ve been playing,” said Flores. “If you look at all their films, and we’ve actually seen them play live a couple of times, they’ve been able to move the ball on pretty much everybody they’ve played. Mistakes have played a big part in a lot of their losses and their inexperience shows at times but they have some very talented kids on their team so we can’t afford to take them lightly.”
According to Flores, the Sabercats have talented players at the offensive skill positions that his defense will be keying and will need to shut down if his Lobos are going to succeed tonight.
“Well #28 (Genaro Cavazos) had a really good rushing performance against Donna last week,” said Flores. “He carried the ball well and he ran tough. They’ve alternated three different quarterbacks. Out of the three #14 (John Treviño) was the one that threw the ball the best. #3 (Tristan Gomez) is more of a runner that they have back there which makes it harder to key on because when #3 and #28 are both in the backfield you can’t just focus on one. #14 and #10 (Fabian Pedraza) are their passing quarterbacks, so we need to make sure that we are aware of personnel, where they’re at and that we play accordingly.”
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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.