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Juárez-Lincoln faces Economedes in final non-district contest

Although the triage unit put three players back on the field, the body count continued to mount after La Joya Juárez-Lincoln lost to Mission Veterans Memorial 48-6 on Sept. 12 at a waterlogged Pack Stadium.

“That’s the nature of the beast, that’s football,” Juárez-Lincoln head coach Tomás García said. “We’ve been very fortunate the last two years where our injuries were scattered, but this year we were hit in the first three games.”

20140912-VMHS-v-J-L-Football dy-068With another three players lost to injury for this week, the Huskies (0-3) prepare to face their last non-district contest on Friday when they host Edinburg Economedes (1-2) at 7:30 p.m. in Week 4 at Pack Stadium in La Joya.

“Economedes is big and they’re strong,” García said. “We just got to put our 11 best people on the field. We did a lot of Ironman football this week, where everybody’s going offense and defense for an hour. We just want to put the best players on the field.”

After opening the season with a 35-13 win over Brownsville Hanna, the Jaguars have lost their last two games. Economedes was doubled up by McAllen Memorial 69-38 on Sept. 5 and the Jags dropped a one touchdown game to PSJA 21-14 on Sept. 12.

While Economedes will try to even their record at .500 against Juárez-Lincoln, the Huskies are just trying to stay healthy and slip in a win before the start of the District 30-6A season next week.

“We’re going through a lot of growing pains,” García said. “We have a lot of sophomores and juniors playing. We have good kids, they’re just inexperienced. Our concern right now is getting healthy.”

Among the Huskies’ recent losses are starting running back Obed Fernández, who went down in the Mission Veterans game and will be out of commission for three to four weeks. Fernández rushed for 32 yards on 23 carries.

Starting free safety Rey Gutiérrez is another casualty and is out with an ACL injury.

On the bright side, wide receiver Anthony Mora returned to the lineup last week against the Patriots.

Despite the torrential rain, injuries and loss to Mission Veterans last Friday, the Huskies didn’t back down. As a matter of fact, Juárez-Lincoln hasn’t given up in their first three games of the season regardless of what the outcome has been on the scoreboard.

“Our kids have a lot of pride,” García said. “That’s one thing that I love since I’ve been at Juárez. Our kids fight until the end, regardless of what the score is. It shows their true character.”

The Huskies were led by quarterback Edward García, who completed 7-of-16 passes for 127 yards through the air, including a 28-yard TD pass to tight end Liván Pequeño. The offense punched some holes in the Patriots’ defensive armor that they exploited for a couple of large gains during the game. Juárez-Lincoln was only down 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

However, turnovers provoked by the rain and the same Patriots defense stopped a few of the home team’s more threatening drives, and the Huskies eventually succumbed 48-6.

“For the first time this year, we faced a team that we were pretty even as far as size was concerned,” García said. “The first two games against PSJA Memorial and Rio Hondo, the teams were just huge compared to us. When I looked over to the other side, I said we can play with these guys.”

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