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Only One Gets to Win

Juarez-Lincoln Huskies (0-2) vs. Mission Eagles (0-2)

The Friday Night Lights are back! It’s borderline criminal that it takes a whole week to circle around but we finally made it and now we can look forward to watching some football tonight. We have a special one for you folks as two teams that represent the Big 7 are going to be battling it out for a win, but not just any win. This win will be the first win for either school this season. We’ve got to cover one of these teams this season and we always look forward to watching them go at it, but we have a new challenger stepping from the Big 7 that is going to be making their season debut. We got the Mission Eagles flying out of their nest to La Joya as they go up against the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies. Let’s get this show on the road.

The Eagles are coming off their second loss of the season to the McAllen High Bulldogs. Quarterback Diego Salinas’ three touchdowns and running back Thomas Aparicio’s 150 rushing yards were not enough to get Mission over the hump as they lost that game 30-27. The game was going to be decided with whoever got the ball last as both teams went blow for blow throughout the game and had eerily similar stats. From passing yards, rushing yards, and receiving yards, they were matching up the whole way. But the Bulldogs were able to get the win over Mission. The hope comes from the players and their impact on the field. We know that the Eagles are going to try their best to run it down the throats of their opponents at any given moment and with players like Salinas and Aparicio, they’re going to find success. We know that their defense is full of ball hawks and with that, they’re going to find success. The question is: Will they be able to put it together this week against their Big 7 rival to get the first win of the year?

The Huskies are coming off their second loss of the season to the Donna North Chiefs. The Huskies have been able to take a page out of the Eagles’ book as they look to run the ball like there’s no tomorrow. They have rushed for a combined total of 387 yards in the first two games which is an average of 193.5 yards per game. Needless to say, they are going to try to do that against the Eagles. It’s going to be tough to do that against one of the best rushing defenses in the district though.

So I talked to JC Garza, the Huskies’ wide receivers coach who once played for the La Joya Coyotes back when he was in high school and is known by some as a legend of the football program. I asked Garza about his game plan this week for his group, “Mission has a pretty good defense so we’re making sure we tell the kids to work on what we’ve been working on all year, don’t change the scheme.” His receivers are responding to it well and we could see them play a big role in the way this game goes tonight.

I got the chance to speak with Huskies’ wide receiver A.J. Borrego about his role on this team, “I’m still looking for my first touchdown, but if the coaches need me to get first down every play, I’ll get that first down.” That lack of unselfishness shows glimpses of a leader in the passing game and it’s going to pay off when he and his young quarterback get on track. Juarez-Lincoln quarterback John Menchaca is only a sophomore but is starting at the varsity level and the way to get him acclimated in this offense is going to be through players like Borrego. AJ said this about his quarterback, “He’s going to get fired up when we make him comfortable with our plays, our speed and our timing.”

Coming out with a win is going to take more than just a team of players, it’s going to have to be directed by a leader. I got to speak to the leader of the Huskies’ football program and head coach Mark Gonzalez about the week they just had and the week they have ahead of them. “There’s a lot of good things that we looked at and we got to tighten up on the things we didn’t…the plan is to try to be better than what we were last week, we gotta rise up to the challenge…we’re going to try to contain as much as we can and hopefully we can get a few turnovers, great field position, and we can let our offense do their thing.” There is no doubt that this team can go out there and play the best brand of football out there behind this head coach.

A win tonight will be massive for the team that gets it, as they take a step forward in their journey to success. The team that receives a loss tonight will be digging a deeper hole for themselves, making it harder for them to climb back up. No matter the outcome, we should expect some competitive football being played on both sides of the field as The Big 7 Sports and Progress Times present to you, our game of the week.

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