The Harlingen Cardinals have their work cut out for them this week. After a lackluster performance in Week One, the Cards will shoot for their first win against a tough opponent.
Harlingen (0-1) takes on Laredo United South (0-1) at 7 tonight at the StudentActivity Complex in Laredo.
“We’re semi used to it, having to play on a Thursday,” said Cardinals coach Manny Gomez. “As a coaching staff we can’t wait for Friday night, which is usually what the routine is, so we have to speed up the process Saturday and have an off day Sunday, and get things rolling. It is what it is and we’re ready to go.”
In their season opener against Mission Veterans last Thursday, Harlingen turned the ball over six times, which is unusual of a Gomez-coached squad. The Cardinals will look to establish themselves tonight with a balanced attack.
The Panthers are led by quarterback Ismael Contreras, who had a solid performance in a Week One loss. He threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns while completing 19 of 35 passes.
The Panthers’ offense is in its second year out of the spread attack, but they also like to feed the ball to running back Sergio Vela, who carried the ball for 84 yards on 17 carries last week.
“They’re a smash-mouth football team,” said Gomez of United South. “They’re a type of team you like to go against. I know they have a big offensive line, a big running back and they have plenty of speed, and their QB (Contreras) is proven. But, hey, this is what we want to see and we’re ready for the challenge.