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The Boys of Fall

The Patriots and Eagles look to dominate their matchups

Veterans Memorial Patriots (4-1) vs. Valley Views Tigers (2-3)

The postseason is here folks! Tom Landry Stadium will be host to a Friday night battle to advance one of these two teams to the next round of the playoffs. The 2-3 Valley View Tigers will be traveling to the home of the 4-1 Veterans Memorial Patriots to kick off the first round of the UIL state playoffs.

PT Photo by Luciano Guerra.

The Tigers are returning to the playoffs for the first time since their 2018/2019 season when the Calallen Wildcats booted the Tigers out of the first round. Last season, the Tigers finished with a (1-5) record. This season they are sitting with an opportunity to redeem themselves against the Patriots. They also give themselves the opportunity to get the first postseason win in school history. There’s a lot on the line for the Tigers.

Valley View is coming off a 16-7 win against the now 2-3 Edcouch Elsa Yellow Jackets which secured their spot in the playoffs. They are a strong running team. The Tigers will need all they can get from their variety of rushers. Their senior running back Daniel Negrete is their workhorse rusher. The Tigers average from upwards to 180 rushing yards per game on a good day. They get shut out of the end zone on a bad day, as they have in two games this season. Their offense averages 13.9 points per game while their defense gives up 33.2 points per game. This Tigers will need the absolute best efforts if they want to win this game. Even so, the Patriots are sure to have their hands full against a run-heavy team.

The Patriots are returning to the playoffs for the 11th year in a row and for the sixth time as district champions. That’s why it can be said that this isn’t the first rodeo for head coach David Gilpin and the Patriots. The Patriots took a 64-6 loss to the Gregory-Portland Wildcats.

The Patriots are coming off a 38-35 win over the now 4-1 Roma Gladiators which secured not only a playoff spot, but a three-way share of the District 16-5A II championship. The Patriots offense has been electric all season and it’s thanks to a number of their key players. Senior quarterback Braden Luedeker has been on a rampage. Luedeker has passed for 2,987 yards and rushed for 1,127 yards to go along with his 34 passing and 11 rushing touchdowns. It’s safe to say that he can do it all, but not by himself. His senior receiving core revolves around wide receivers Obed Martin (910 yards and eight touchdowns), Abel Lucio (788 and 10 touchdowns), and Vincent Abbrego (440 yards and eight touchdowns). They are who have been able to get Luedeker and the Patriots rolling all season.

The Patriots defense is going to need all they can get from junior linebacker Aiden Uribe and senior defensive back Alexis Anguiano. Uribe leads the Patriots with 142 total tackles and two sacks while Anguino has contributed heavily with his 70 total tackles. These two, along with the rest of the Patriots’ defense will have to play a stellar game against this run-heavy team.

Whichever team wins tonight will advance into the Area round of the UIL state playoffs against the winner of the San Antonio Pieper Warriors and the San Antonio Sam Houston Hurricanes.

If it’s the Tigers, they would be winning their first playoff game and prove to a lot of people that they are who they say they are. If it’s the Patriots, they will continue to prove why they have earned the reputation of being one of the best teams in the Rio Grande Valley year-in and year-out.

Mission Eagles (2-3) @ Weslaco Panthers (5-0)

Bobby Lackey Stadium will be host to a first round matchup between the undefeated (5-0) Weslaco Panthers and the (2-3) Mission Eagles.

Photo by Marcus Olvera (KindaDaPhotographer)

The Panthers are coming off a 27-21(OT) win over the now (4-1) San Benito Greyhounds. The Panthers have now made the playoffs five out of the last six seasons. Their offense produces 33.7 points per game on the back of their senior quarterback and running back duo Andres Sepulveda and Elias Rodriguez Jr.. Sepulveda has passed for 1,213 yards and rushed for 294 yards to go along with his 13 passing and six rushing touchdowns on the season. Rodriguez Jr. has rushed for 1,453 yards to go along with his 21 touchdowns. This duo has led the Panthers to an undefeated record and they are sure to make their presence known on the field against the Eagles.

The Eagles are coming off a 45-10 win over the now (0-5) La Joya Coyotes. This win puts them back in the playoffs. They plan on making some noise this season after missing the playoffs last season. The Eagles are averaging 34.2 points per game on offense while giving up 30.3 points a game on defense. Their offense is backed by senior quarterback Diego Salinas, who is averaging 190 passing yards and 83 rushing yards per game this season. Junior running back Thomas Aparicio Salinas tacks in 123 yards per game to go along with that. It’s safe to say that these two have been the catalyst to the success of the Eagles this year.If the Panthers were to win tonight, they would advance to the next round with a (1-0) postseason record. Their last playoff win was in the 2019-20 season. A loss would boot them out of the first place advancing the Eagles to the next round.

If the Eagles were to win tonight, they would advance to the next round with a (1-0) postseason record. This would be their first playoff win since the 2020-2021 season. A loss would cause the Eagles to take the exit in the first round.

Big 7 Sports proudly represents the Mission Veterans Memorial Patriots and the Mission Eagles. We wish them the best in luck in winning tonight and advancing to the next round of the playoffs. Good luck to the Valley View Tigers and the Weslaco Panthers as they face up against our Big 7 Sports teams.

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