Wildcats hand Cards their 1st district loss

HARLINGEN — District 32-6A took an interesting turn Friday night as Harlingen High saw its five-game win streak snapped as Weslaco East picked up a huge 20-17 win at Boggus Stadium in the Valley Morning Star’s Game of the Week.

“I give a lot of credit to coach Mike Burget and his team,” said Cardinals coach Manny Gomez. “They came out here and did some great things. They played harder than us and that is the bottom line. It is what it is, but we can definitely learn from this.”

Missed Opportunities: Harlingen failed to cash in on scoring opportunities that ultimately hurt them in the end. Trailing 20-17, the Cardinals missed on a chance to take the lead after a fumble by Jaime Galvan inside the 10-yard line midway through the third quarter.

Later in the third quarter, cornerback Jayden-Joe Wright picked off East QB Richard LeFevre’s pass that set up the Cards at midfield. However, the Cards’ offense couldn’t convert on the turnover.

With 4:05 left in the game, Harlingen’s defense came up with a stop on fourth down that gave the Cardinals the ball at the 30-yard line trailing by three. QB Daniel Ramirez drove the offense down the field and on 4th-and-2 he hit Joe Reyna for a 4-yard pick up to keep the drive alive.

The fourth down conversion kept the drive going and helped set up a potential game-tying 37-yard field goal, but kicker Jacob Garza pushed the kick wide left with 34 seconds left in the game.

LeFevre airs it out: With scoring coming at a premium, Weslaco East managed to score on its opening possession. East quarterback LeFevre hit Ramsey Vasquez on a 30-yard pass that set up a 2-yard run from Danny Salinas that gave East the early 7-0 lead.

On the night, LeFevre made plenty of solid throws, but none bigger than a 78-yard touchdown pass to Jose Serna that gave East a 20-10 lead with 7:19 left in the third quarter.

“Sometimes it’s easier to stop the run than the pass, and tonight they did a good job through the air and we were not disciplined in the secondary and we gave up a big play,” Gomez said.

Back in the Race: Weslaco East (4-3, 2-2) claws its way back into the playoff picture with just three games remaining against Brownsville Rivera, Harlingen South and Brownsville Hanna. Meanwhile Harlingen (5-2, 3-1) remains in a good position and will turn its focus to a road game against Los Fresnos.

“You can never count out a Coach Burget team,” said Gomez. “They always come in ready to play and they did that tonight, they fought hard. At times they were able to take advantage of our mistakes and we couldn’t take advantage of theirs. It is what it is and that’s football.”