Harlingen High and Weslaco High possess two of the most storied football programs in the Valley.
So it’s fitting that when the Cardinals host the Panthers on Friday in a District 32-6A contest, the game is worthy of being the Valley Morning Star’s Game of the Week.
In the past two years, the Cardinals and Panthers have played each other three times and each contest was an all-out war.
Last season, the Cardinals went into Weslaco’s Bobby Lackey Stadium in a Week 4 non-district contest and walked away with a tough 21-14 win.
And in 2014, the programs faced off twice in epic affairs. During the regular season, the Cards gutted out a 30-29 win that helped Harlingen avoid an 0-3 start. However, the Panthers got their revenge in the opening round of the playoffs when they stunned Big Red 3-0.
The Cards (3-2, 2-0), who are ranked No. 5 in the Valley’s top 10, come into Friday night’s game riding a two-game win streak after conference wins over Harlingen South and Brownsville Rivera on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Panthers (3-2, 1-1), who are ranked No. 8, rebounded this past weekend with a 21-0 win over Brownsville Hanna after dropping their district opener to Weslaco East 24-7 on Sept. 23.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Boggus Stadium in Harlingen.
In other District 32-6A games this week, the Valley’s top-ranked San Benito Greyhounds (5-0, 2-0) host Brownsville Rivera (1-4, 0-2). After winning their season opener against Brownsville Porter, the Raiders have dropped their last four in a row.
Harlingen South (4-1, 1-1), which got a quality win against Los Fresnos last week, looks to keep momentum going when it travels to Brownsville Hanna (2-2, 1-1), which seeks to rebound after losing to Weslaco.
Finally, Weslaco East (3-2, 1-1) hosts Los Fresnos (2-3, 0-2), which looks to avoid an 0-3 start in league play and a fourth straight loss.
After a bye week for many, the Valley’s sub-5A squads return to the field this Friday in their district openers.
The District 32-4A Division II schedule is highlighted by Rio Hondo (3-2) at Port Isabel (5-0), which is ranked No. 10 in the Valley.
Meanwhile on the 32-4A Division I front, La Feria (4-1) begins its league title defense at Zapata (1-4).