Hawks look to open up at 3-0 for 1st time since 2013

HARLINGEN – Two teams with opposite records will collide when the Harlingen South Hawks and Edinburg North Cougars face off tonight at Cats Stadium in Edinburg.

The Hawks are 2-0 this season after impressive wins over McAllen High and PSJA High. The Cougars, meanwhile, are 0-2 after tough losses to Brownsville Veterans and Sharyland High.

The Hawks are looking to equal their win total for the past two seasons and begin a season at 3-0 for the first time since 2013, which was the last time the program made the playoffs. Ironically, it was Edinburg North that ended the Hawks’ postseason runs in 2012 and 2013.

Under first-year head coach Brian Ricci, the Hawks have been a run-first team as they’ve totaled 589 yards on the ground in their two games. What’s more, the Hawks are using a very balanced rushing attack that is not relying on one particular ball carrier.

In their 21-14 win over McHi in Week 1, the Hawks used five different runners to tote the ball for 217 yards. In that game, senior Adrian Torres led the way with 88 yards on 10 carries. However, it was junior Jorge Alicea who scored two touchdowns carrying the ball 11 for 59 yards.

Against PSJA High last week, five runners were also used but it was senior quarterback Brandon Villarreal who took control of the game as he pounded out 173 yards on 14 carries for three TDs in a 35-27 victory.

Despite the success the Hawks have had on the ground, Coach Ricci said his team could change things up if necessary.

“It just depends on the situation,” he said before last week’s game.

Meanwhile, things have been a little disappointing in Cougar Country. After struggling through a 3-7 season in 2015, things were supposed to be different this year as the Coogs retuned a bevy of experienced talent, including senior quarterback Alan Alvarez, who thew for more than 1,600 yards and rushed for nearly 360 as a junior.

In Week 1, Edinburg North let a 14-3 lead over Brownsville Vets slip away as the Chargers scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win 17-14. And last week, the Cougars racked up 349 total yards but still came up short in a 20-16 loss to the Rattlers.