PHARR — The Rio Grande Valley Vixens reached the top of the mountain.
After trailing in the second half, the Vixens rallied past the Rockport Her-ricanes for a 57-56 win in the IWFA Division II championship game at Golazo Soccer Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“Our girls put it all on the line today,” said Vixens head coach David Gonzalez. “Since the begging of the season, we had the motto “one team, one dream” and today we made that dream a reality. To come back after last season is special, and the girls responded and made it happen.”
In the fourth quarter, both the Vixens and Her-ricanes answered each score. Samantha Escandon scored late giving the Vixens a lead with five minutes left in the game.
In the final two minutes, the Her-ricanes responded and cut the score to 51-50. After the touchdown the Her-ricanes scored a two-point conversion, giving them a 52-51 advantage, but a penalty wiped away the conversion. On the second attempt, the Vixens defense denied the Her-ricanes to stay on top by one.
On the ensuing drive, Bailey Najera scored on the first play from scrimmage to put the Vixens up 57-50 and seal the deal.
“I’m speechless right now. To win it all is such a special feeling,” said Ashley Flores “I’m tired right now, but I don’t feel anything. I’ll probably wake up tomorrow in some pain, but it was all worth to win our first title. We came so far and worked hard every day. I’m proud of the girls.”
Both squads swapped scores early on as the Vixens leaned on veteran Flores and Escandon with a mixture of speed and power out of the back field.
In the first quarter, Yesenia Ortega showed off her speed by scoring on a reverse. Escandon had a monster second half as she scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
NOTE: Prior to the championship, the IWFA held an all-star showcase featuring players from around the league. The Harlingen Honeys made up team ICON while players from the Weslaco Lady Jags and RGV Clovers made up team LYFE. Team ICON won the showcase, 34-26.