LA FERIA — The 2016 Grulla Gators made school history on Friday as they beat La Feria 40-21 to clinch the school’s first-ever District 16-4A Division I champions.
The Gators (6-4, 4-0) proved how good they’ve been this district season by taking their first drive and scoring on a 50-yard pass from Fabian Anzaldua to Miguel Flores that put the Gators up 7-0.
La Feria (7-2, 3-1) muffed a punt on their second offensive series that the Gators took advantage of to score again on a 14-yard pass to Flores that pushed the Gators lead to 13-0 after a missed extra point.
Although momentum was clearly with the Gators, the Lions didn’t back down and capped a 75-yard drive with a Julian Trevino 15-yard run that cut the lead to 13-7.
The Gators were definitely feeling the heat as they went three-and-out on their next offensive series leaving time for the Lions’ offense to go to work.
A 57-yard run from Trevino gave the Lions much-needed confidence as they marched their way to the Gators 6-yard line. With 22 seconds left in the second quarter, the Lions scored off a Brandon Perez run to give them the lead 14-13 heading into halftime.
The Gators heard the Lions roar but that didn’t shake their groove as on their second possession they converted a fake punt with a 26-yard pass from Luis Martinez to Omar Martinez. That helped them gain momentum that lead to them scoring on a 1-yard run from Anzaldua to retake the lead 19-14.
The Gators then bit the Lions with an interception from Jay Solis giving them great field position yet again.
The Gators kept the chains rolling by converting a crucial third-and-long with a 13-yard pass from Anzaldua to Solis that keep the chains rolling. The Gators would go on to score on the drive with a Dillen Salinas 17-yard run to lift the Gators to a 26-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lion’s weren’t done, however, as they took their next offensive series and scored from a Trevino 34-yard run to close the gap to 26-21. But that was as close as the Lions would get as the Gators D shut them down the rest of the way.
“Our third down conversions were huge for us,” said Gators head coach Abel Gonzalez.
Gators quarterback Fabian Anzaldua threw two touchdown passes and ran in for three giving him a total of five touchdowns on the night.
“Fabian has been our leader the past two years and he definitely lead us tonight,” Gonzalez said.