La Joya Palmview head coach Margarito Requenez couldn’t find the words to describe how he felt as he ran back onto the field after the Lobos defeated school rival La Joya 23-16 on Friday at Pack Stadium in game that’s fast-becoming a traditional La Joya ISD classic.
“It’s very special,” Requenez said. “We’ve worked so hard to get where we are right now and I’m just glad that we pulled it off. Everytime you play your sister school, it doesn’t matter how good you are. Everybody plays to a higher level because it’s a rivalry and I’m just proud of my kids right now.”
The 23 points scored by the Lobos were the most they’ve scored since a 35-28 victory over PSJA Southwest on Sept. 5. Since then, Palmview’s offense sputtered and only was able to muster 16 points in two games.
“There’s a lot of emotions, I’m just happy that our offense finally clicked, again, and we were able to move the ball against a very good defense,” Requenez said. “We went back and worked on the fundamentals because we had about 16 turnovers in the last three games and we finally solved that problem.”
Palmview improved to 4-1-1 overall and 2-0 in District 30-6A win the win over their brethren from La Joya. The Coyotes dropped to 1-6, 0-3 with the loss.
One of the keys to success for the Lobos this season has been their defense and it proved itself again by holding the Coyotes to 10 points. Palmview’s defense has held five of the six opponents they’ve faced this season to 14 points or less.
“I’m happy with our defense,” Requenez said. “We finally proved that we’re someone to be reckoned with.”
La Joya got on the board first on junior Justin Leaños’ 30-yard TD run to give the Coyotes a 7-0 lead with 36 seconds left in the first quarter.
Senior running back Alfredo Villarreal tied up the agame on a 2-yard run to cap a five-play drive with 4:26 remaining in the second quarter.
Palmview’s defense provoked a La Joya fumble on the first play after the kickoff. Five plays later, Villarreal rumbled in from two yards out again to increase the Lobos lead to 13-7 with 2:12 left in the half.
After both teams traded field goals in the second half, Palmview senior fullback José Bernal plowed in for a 1-yard TD to put the game out of reach and secure the Lobos’ 23-10 victory over the Coyotes.
“It’s a team effort,” Villarreal said. “We were down a score and we took the challenge, and came back and scored three times. It means everything, this is pride. La Joya schools are really competitive and these rivalry games mean everything to us. We’re just happy we got the win and we’re going home 2-0.”