The Juarez-Lincoln Huskies kept their playoff hopes alive Friday night with a 24-19 win over the Mission Eagles.
The Huskies opened up a 17-6 first half lead over the Eagles with a 40-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Obed Fernandez to junior wide receiver C.J. Flores and a 64-yard touchdown run by junior tight end Livan Pequeno.
The Eagles made the game interesting when they capped off a 49-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run by sophomore Steven De Leon late in the third quarter and a 34-yard drive with a two-yard run into the end zone by junior quarterback Rudy Trevino for the final score of the game.
The Eagles had one more scoring opportunity when they drove the ball down to the Juarez-Lincoln 37-yard drive with 1:35 remaining in the game, but a costly fumble brought that drive to an end.
Mission head coach Mario Pena attributed the loss to mental mistakes on defense and turnovers on offense.
“We were very loose coming into the game,” Pena said. “I told my players that they were a good football game and they proved it last week with our win over Nikki Rowe. But we were hurt by a couple of big plays which were due to miscommunication between a couple of players. Offensively what killed us were turnovers.”
“When we’ve turned the ball over we’ve lost. You can’t do that and win,” Pena added.
After losing their first three games of district play, Juarez-Lincoln has now won two in a row. And depending on how some other games go Coach Tomas Garcia’s Huskies could be playing to clinch a playoff spot next week.
“The outcome of the Nikki Rowe/La Joya game will dictate where we’re going,” Garcia said. “But like I’ve told the kids, ‘We have to win-out and take care of La Joya next week.’”
If the Huskies are going to clinch their first playoff berth in school history next week, Garcia knows that it will take a total team effort against the Coyotes like they had against the Eagles.
“Our defense came up big at critical times tonight,” Garcia explained. “Our philosophy is bend but don’t break and that’s what they did. Offensively, when we needed to move the chains we did that. It was a total team effort.”
With the win the Huskies improved to 2-3 in District 30-6A play with the Eagles, who will be taking on the undefeated McAllen Memorial Mustangs next week, dropped to 2-3.