LAREDO, Texas — Eagle Pass (9-2, 6-1) and Edinburg Vela (11-0, 7-0) will share road warrior duties Friday when both clubs ride into Laredo’s Student Athletic Complex.
Each will carry with them a simple goal: Advance.
EDINBURG’S GROUND GAME
The undefeated Sabercats are well-balanced offensively, averaging 215 yards passing and 211.5 yards rushing yards per game. The unit has scored 61 touchdowns over the course of the season.
The aerial assault is led by quarterback Nathan Garcia. The senior shot-caller’s productivity is impressive. Garcia has passed for 2,368 yards and 24 touchdown tosses in 11 games. He’s only thrown five interceptions for an overall quarterback rating of 121.4.
Garcia has a trio of wideouts that make up the bulk of the receiving yards. Sophomore Justin Cantu, senior Brandon Guzman, and junior Aziel Garcia have combined for 1,783 yards and 16 scores.
The ground game hosts various backs and features a two-headed monster in junior Aaron Alvarez and senior Sam Valenzuela. Alvarez has gained a total of 708 yards visited the end zone 17 times. Valenzuela has 597 yards and 10 scores this season. The pair are consistent, help keep opposing offenses off the field and the chains moving.
The Sabercats defense is no slouch. The squad has accounted for 21 sacks and 12 interceptions this season. They’re only allowing an average of 15.5 points a game.
EAGLE PASS’ MOMENTUM AFTER MCALLEN
The Eagles are coming off a 52-21 beatdown of the McAllen Bulldogs in order to advance to the area round. Like the Sabercats, Eagle Pass showcases an electric, high-scoring offense that’s been lighting up scoreboards.
Senior ball carrier Dee Andre Torres has accounted for over 1,300 yards and 17 scores this season allowing for the Eagles to control the pace of games. At the helm is quarterback Ricardo Luna. The Junior has passed for over 1,700 yards and 16 scores. Eagle Pass’ airborne assault relies on a quartet of receivers in Jose Riojas, Norby Zavala, Rey Mendoza and Albert Guevara. All four are experienced with big play speed.
The centerpiece of the Eagles is a hard-hitting defense known as the “Land Sharks.” The unit has allowed an average of 14.9 points per game and specializes in stuffing opposing runners. They are fast, athletic and a physical bunch that makes opposing offenses earn each yard.
The stage is set and both teams are playing their best football of the year. Will it be an old fashion Texas shootout between these two high-octane offenses? Or will the defenses carry the day, making it a war of attrition?
This is what playoff high school football is about.
The game is slated for a 2 p.m. start time.
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