While La Joya Palmview looks to avenge their previous two season’s losses against Mission on Friday in the Lobos’ District 30-6A home opener at 7:30 p.m. at Pack Stadium, the Eagles hope to recover from their home opening loss to McAllen last week and leave it in the past.
“They’re a pretty good defensive team, I can’t take that away from Coach Peña,” Palmview head coach Margarito Requenez said. “Their offense is there; they just had some offensive miscues (against McAllen). We’ll probably be playing in the rain again and they’re out to win.”
“What I’ve been telling my ball club is that you have to be prepared,” he added. “Yes, they have a losing record, but that’s not the team that we’re facing. We’re facing a well coached team, a disciplined team and that’s what I’m harping on. The last two seasons they’ve beaten us by a score of 12 points combined and we’re out for some revenge.”
Palmview (2-1-1) is coming off a 7-7 overtime tie against Roma. The game was called due to lightning.
The Lobos lost to Mission 21-19 in 2012 and again last season 23-13. Before then, Palmview defeated the Eagles 25-7 in 2011 and 42-28 in 2010. The all-time series is tied 2-2.
Prior to last week’s tie with the Gladiators, Palmview lost a heartbreaker to Rio Grande City 14-9.
“We lost against Rio, but that’s because we lost so many fumbles and dropped some critical passes. It should’ve been a different score,” Requenez explained. “Against Rio we ran the ball whenever we wanted to, but the fumbles killed us.”
Unlike Mission, the Lobos have only suffered one injury so far this season. Palmview lost starting quarterback Andrew Puente, who has been substituted by a committee of three backups that will most likely be rotated against the Eagles (1-4).
“We’ve been very lucky, the only player we lost was our starting QB,” Requenez said. “Without a signal caller in there, it’s a different ball game. We’ve put in our backups and rotated them. We’ve had two weeks to get our quarterback back and healthy, we’ll play it by ear once we play Mission. Hopefully, we can sit him out another week until we play La Joya.”
On the other side of the ball Friday will be a recovering Eagles squad looking to survive another day and win just enough games to creep into the playoffs.
“I told them that once you’re in district that’s your second season and in our district if you can win three games, hopefully you can slide into the playoffs,” Mission head coach Mario Peña said. “Ultimately, that’s one of the goals we have is to make the playoffs and anything can happen on any given Friday. In football you got to have a short memory, we got to let go of what happened against McAllen. They’re a good football team and we have to learn from our mistakes.”
In addition to Mission’s miscues in the 48-7 loss to the Bulldogs, the Eagles lost four players to injury over the course of the game.
“Our mistakes was something I’m not used to seeing, but when we got banged up and we had to replace some of those players, the guys that came in were a little lost, especially on defense,” Peña said. “We gave up a lot of third and longs and you can’t do that against a good football team, that’s definitely something we’ve got to clean up. We also have to keep the defense off the field. We can’t be playing one side of the ball, we need to play a complete game.”
A complete game is what the Eagles hope to put together against the Lobos and extend their dominance over Palmview to three seasons.
“They understand that was our first game in district and they need to let go,” Peña said. “The mistakes we made need to be corrected and they understand that and are ready to play on Friday night.”