Will it be the Lobos time to howl or the Eagles turn to soar? This question will be answered tonight at Tom Landry Stadium when the Palmview Lobos face off against the Mission Eagles in a District 30-6A battle that only one can emerge from victorious.
Tonight’s game is actually a rematch of last season’s 14-7 Lobos win over the Eagles. That game however was played at La Joya ISD Stadium while tonight’s game is not only being played in the house that Tom Landry built, figuratively of course, but it’s also Mission High School’s homecoming.
“We have them at home this time,” said Mission senior left guard Christian Navejar. “That will give us a little extra boost.”
Mission senior defensive back Henry Morales, however, does not let the crowd, or the fact that it’s his own school’s homecoming, affect him either way.
“Personally, I don’t even notice the crowd,” Morales said. “I focus on the game and all that homecoming stuff is after the game or whenever it is. I really don’t care about that.”
As for how important it’s going to be for the Eagles to get a win tonight, Navejar said, “It’s a very big game for us. We lost our first game so coming into our second district game it’s important to start anew and get ready for the rest of the games in district – especially against one of the better teams in the district.”
The 2-2 Palmview Lobos are coming off a historic season in which they not only qualified for the playoffs for the first time in school history, but they made history again when they went on to win a bi-district championship. The 2-3 Mission Eagles on the other hand had a very disappointing 2-8 season last year and opened their district schedule last week by giving up a late lead to the McAllen High Bulldogs who went on to defeat Mission 36-26. The Lobos are coming off their bye week making tonight’s game their district opener.
Having just snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the Bulldogs, the Eagles will be going all out to even up their district record at 1-1 tonight. As for what it will take to do that, Eagles’ senior strong guard Jose De Leon said, “To beat Palmview we’re going to have to finish better. We started great against Mac High but we didn’t finish that game so we need to step it up a notch or two and not let them get into our heads.”
While the Lobos are expected to once again contend for one of the four District 30-6A’s playoff slots, it’s been just one day shy of a month since they last experienced the thrill of victory. That was a 50-26 non-district victory over PSJA Southwest. Since that game the Lobos dropped both of their games against District 31-5A opponents; the Rio Grande City Rattlers (35-34) and the Roma Gladiators (44-27).
For the Lobos to get back on the winning track tonight they will need their huge offensive line, which includes a 6-foot 2, 362 lb. tackle, to protect junior quarterback Andrew Puente and open holes for junior running back Joel Pina. They are the keys to Palmview’s offense and while they are young they are not inexperienced.
“Andrew is off to a great start,” said Palmview head coach Margarito Requenez. “Hopefully we can keep him injury free because he missed a couple of games last year due to injuries.”
“Joel was here all summer long,” added Requenez. “He put in his time and he put in his effort. He knows how to read the blocks and being a running back is all about field vision and that’s something that he has.”