BY ARMANDO GARZA |
HIDALGO — Technically, Ruben Hernandez was the leading receiver for the Hidalgo Pirates on Friday night.
Problem is, Hernandez plays for Rio Hondo.
The Bobcats’ defensive back snared two early interceptions and returned each of them to set up easy touchdowns as the Cats whitewashed the Pirates 58-0 at Bill Pate Stadium.
Rio Hondo (2-2) led 28-0 after the first quarter and the lead swelled to 44-0 at intermission in a dominant performance against an outmatched Hidalgo team (1-3).
Bobcat junior quarterback Tyler Bush had light duty, but was efficient with three touchdown tosses on 4-of-8 passing while running back Danny Vasquez had 83 yards and two scores on the ground.
After Hidalgo’s first drive – which turned out to be its best – stalled in Bobcat territory, Bush and the offense got to work.
On the first play from scrimmage, Bush hit John Salinas for 22 yards before Vasquez scooted for a 53-yard touchdown on the second play. Then, Hernandez picked off a Hidalgo pass and ran it back to the one on the next series and Vasquez’s two-yard plunge made it 14-0 Rio Hondo with 5:34 left in the first.
It got a lot worse for a young Hidalgo team, as Hernandez recorded his second pick to set up a Bush-to-Erik Pizarro four-yard TD strike. Then, a Pirate fumble—recovered by RH’s Juan Delgado—gave it back to the Cats and Bush and Pizarro connected once more, on a 15-yarder to make it 28-0 as the rout was on.
Salinas caught Bush’s second TD strike on a 17-yard hookup to make it 35-0 early in the second. Later, a Hidalgo snap went out of the end zone for a safety and Pizarro took the ensuing kickoff 68 yards to the house for the 44-point margin.
After intermission, Hidalgo continued to sputter. Pizarro electrified with another long return for a 68-yard TD. Matthew Cuellar’s two-yard score in the fourth closed out the scoring.
Rio Hondo will host Grulla next week at Bobcat Stadium before enjoying a bye week.