Cards set to clash with Rattlers in final non-district contest of the season

HARLINGEN — In what has been an annual non- district meeting for the past four years, San Antonio Reagan is set to visit Boggus Stadium this Friday night in the Valley Morning Star’s Game of the Week.

“The bottom line is you try and become immune to the big stage,” said Cardinals coach Manny Gomez. “I truly believe you can learn much more from a loss than a victory early on. I picked it up from Coach Nick Saban, but at the same time you don’t want to make losing a habit by any means.”

The Cardinals saw a strong turnaround in Week Two on defense as they yielded just six points against Laredo United South last week.

Harlingen has seen its pass rush also come to form with Sam Alonzo leading the way. As a unit the Cards have a combined 12 sacks. Harlingen’s pass rush will be key against the balanced attack of Reagan.

“We took the right angles on pursuits and we just reacted a lot faster,” said Gomez. “From our first game to the second it was night and day, but that is why we’re out here practicing. That is why we have a non-district schedule so we can live and learn.”

Offensively, quarterback Daniel Ramirez is finding his form with 483 yards and five touchdowns through the first two games. Ramirez has also hit weapons in wide receivers Riley Sauceda, Ethan Martinez and Joe Reyna. The Cards’ offense will need Ramirez to control the tempo and stay within himself against a tough Rattlers squad.

“Daniel goes against our defense every day and we bring the heat so at times he feels like he has to get rid of the ball,” said Gomez. “The thing we stress with him is to be confident and play with poise in the pocket, and that’s what he did last week. When he plays with confidence and poise he can make things happen with his arm.”

The Rattlers are under first-year head coach Lyndon Hamilton after former head coach David Wetzel took a job with the Baylor coaching staff.

Week Three marks the final week of non-district play and one final tune up before district play begins in Week Five.

Playing a perennial power in the Rattlers will definitely give the Cards a measuring stick on where they stand before league play.

Last season Reagan dominated with a 41-7 win in Week Three. Big Red is hoping for a better outcome this time around.

“It’s going to be a chess match; they’re a balanced defense so at times we have to be smart with what we do and wait and see what shows up on Friday. We will be ready come Friday and will have to adjust to what they bring. Only time will tell.” Gomez said.”