The game lived up to its billing. After last years’ epic battle, the Edinburg Vela fans at Cat Stadium let it be known they wanted revenge. Both the Sabercats and Sharyland brought their potent offenses ready to go.
Senior quarterback Seth Carter set the tone on the first series from scrimmage when he made a long run for a touchdown. But, the PAT was blocked — something that would haunt the Rattlers the rest of the night. After the two teams swapped series a few times, Vela quarterback Adrian Pedraza threw a 30-yard pass to put them up 7-6. Still in the first quarter, Carter hit Edgar Alanis for a 60-yard touchdown pass. But, the two point conversion attempt failed. After another touchdown pass to Manny Campos, and still anther failed two point conversion, the Rattlers ended the first quarter up 18-14.
Both offenses scored on big plays rather than grinding out long drives. Twice the Rattlers stuffed Vela on fourth down situations, but gave up the long ball on other plays. Carter had many spectacular runs, with his 75-yard scamper in the second quarter being the best.
Sharyland was down 34-25 at the half, but Vela increased that lead to 41-25 with 9:26 left in the third quarter. That’s when Carter went to work, scoring from 30 yards out and making the two point conversion. Sergio Tornero added his own 73-yard run for 6, then Carter ran for 2 points.
When the score was tied at 41, a taunt of “Why so quiet” came from the Sharyland fans. But Vela promptly brought some noise back from their fans on a fourth and goal from the 5 with a nice toss for another seven points.
The Rattler offense answered again. After two long runs by Carter, he lofted a TD pass to Manny Campos. For the second time in the game, the Rattler PAT was blocked, leaving the score at 48-47. The final drive for the Rattlers left them on the Sabercat 8-yard line with 29 seconds left on the game clock, but it wasn’t to be, as the ball was jarred loose from Carter. Though lineman Joaquin Avila tried to cover the ball in the end zone, it wound up in a Sabercat’s hands.
“I wouldn’t trade these guys for the world,” Adame said after the game.