LAREDO, Texas – This Friday, the Alexander Bulldogs (6-5, 5-2) kick off the area playoff round against the Weslaco East Wildcats (8-3, 5-2) at the Student Athletics Complex in Laredo. Start time is scheduled for 7:30 pm.
THE ALEXANDER BULLDOGS
To many, Alexander isn’t supposed to be here after missing the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons last year. At the start of this year, things didn’t look like they had improved. The team had no established starting quarterback, multiple injuries at the running back position and an unknown defense. The team pulled it together and are on a five-game winning streak. The Bulldogs opened the post-season with a 42-17 throttling of the McAllen Rowe Warriors (7-3, 5-2) last week.
The offense is young and has plenty of symmetry averaging 184.6 yards passing and 127.3 yards. The shot caller duties are shared by Matthew Conner and Jose Rodriguez. Both have combined for 18 touchdowns passes and six interceptions for a quarterback rating of 86.2. The receiving core is lead senior Leo Garza and junior Albert Laurel, Jr, a speedster with 59 catches for 829 yards this season and eight touchdown grabs.
Garza is a big and physical wideout with 574 yards on 45 catches and seven scores. The running game is anchored by 142-pound scatback, Camilo Pedraza. The sophomore has rushed for 889 yards on 160 carries and found the end zone 13 times. Pedraza also runs the wildcat formation when inside the 10-yard line.
The Bulldogs defense is aggressive and has a blue-collar approach. It is a “no name” type of unit that works well together and attacks the ball. The front seven are relentless and have 20 sacks on the season. The secondary is opportunistic and has picked off the ball 12 times. They are consistent and manage to adapt as the game progresses.
THE WESLACO EAST WILDCATS
The Wildcats are a run-first offensive scheme that occasionally passes. Lead by dual-threat quarterback Richard Lefevre, Weslaco East averages 261.9 yards rushing to 156.3 yards passing per game. The senior has run for 794 yards and thrown for another 1,625. He has scored 31 times throughout the course of this year. Coming into this battle, Lefevre has breached the century mark in three consecutive games.
Joshua Roy Pedraza – a senior – is the second leading rusher on the squad with 535. Wideouts J.C. Vargas and Jaime Banuelos have caught a total of 872 yards and 12 touchdowns. Overall, the offense is efficient and effective in moving the ball and finding the end zone.
Weslaco East’s defensive is anchored by an athletic line adept at pressuring quarterbacks. The front has 26 sacks and the secondary has accounted for 10 interceptions this season. They are allowing an average of 18.4 points a game coming into this contest.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO LEFVRE
Lefevre is the key to the game for both side. Alexander’s objective is not complicated: Slowdown Lefevre and they’ll likely win. For the Wildcats: Lefeve needs to keep the chains moving and the Bulldogs’ offense off the field to claim victory. It should be exciting to see who can impose their will.
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