Hawks fall to Edinburg North in home opener

HARLINGEN — Edinburg North spoiled Harlingen South’s home opener with a 24-7 win Thursday night at Boggus Stadium.

The Cougars marched their way to their first win of the season behind the legs of sophomore quarterback Iziaah Rangel.

“We played really well on defense at times, then the offense isn’t clicking, then the defense doesn’t play well,” said Hawks coach Brian Ricci. “We haven’t been able to put it all together at the same time and that is where we want to go.”

After Edinburg North starting quarterback Frankie Zuniga left the game with an injury in the second quarter, Rangel stepped in and led the Cougars to 21 points. Rangel ran for a 60-yard touchdown that gave the Cougars a 10-0 lead with three minutes left in the first half.

South was unable to get its running game going. Jorge Alicea finished the night with 18 carries and 55 yards and a score.

On the opening drive of the second half, South marched down the field and scored on a 1-yard Alicea run. The Hawks cut into the lead at 10-7, but that is as close as the Hawks got.

“I tip my hat to him (Rangel), he is a heck of an athlete and can run the ball really well. They (Cougars) executed and we didn’t,” said Ricci.

Edinburg North answered with a pair of long touchdown run in the third quarter. Cristian Flores ran in for a 34-yard score followed by a 32-yard touchdown run from Rangel that sealed the win for Edinburg North.

The Cougars (1-2) will enter their bye week before they open district play against Edinburg Vela Sept. 29.

Hawks’ D HOLDS ITS OWN: In the first half, the Hawks’ defense kept them in the game with a pair of stops led by Brandon Bennett, who finished the game with three sacks. He now has seven on the year.

On 2nd and third, Bennett came up with a tackle for a loss and a sack on third down that forced Edinburg North to kick a field goal.

Edinburg North went for it on 4th and 2, leading 3-0 with 4:57 left in the second quarter. Bennett came off the edge and sacked QB Frankie Zuniga. Enrique Alvarado added to his interception total with his third interception of the season.

“We started flat tonight and there is no excuse for that,” Ricci said. “We have two weeks to prepare and we need to go back to fundamentals from blocking to tackling that’s what football is.”

The Hawks (1-2) will now enter their bye week and will open district play against Harlingen in the annual Bird Bowl on Sept. 29.