RAYMONDVILLE — For the past seven games, Raymondville Bearkats head football coach Frank Cantu and his Bearkats have taken it one contest and one week at a time, never looking too far ahead of what’s directly in front of them.
But with the end of the regular season just two weeks away, Raymondville finds itself at 7-0 heading into what many are calling the game of the year.
All season long, the Bearkats have prided themselves on a strong defense that has stopped opponents in their tracks. However, tonight when Raymondville and Rio Hondo face off in the Valley Morning Star’s Game of the Week, there will be much more than pride at stake. There will also be the allure of a possible district championship.
“We have to continue to play football the way we know how to play football,” said Cantu. “We have never focused on one team more than another because it’s always been one week at a time. We know that Rio Hondo is a very good team, but at the end of the day we just have to do things that we do well and lay it all on the line, and let the cards fall where they may.”
Defensively, the Bearkats have been impressive all season, giving up just under 200 yards per game (best in district)with Jacob Posas leading the team with 92 total tackles (49 solo tackles). Darian Cortez and teammate Fred Rodriguez lead the team with seven sacks each while Rudy Ambriz follows with four.
In the secondary, the Bearkats don’t miss a beat with Marcus Capetillo, Deion Castillo and Justin Noyola lurking. The junior running back/cornerback Capetillo leads the group with four interceptions while Castillo and Noyola follow closely behind with three apiece. In total, the Kats have hauled in 13 interceptions this season.
However, tonight the team faces what could possibly be its toughest opponent to date in Rio Hondo. The Bobcats come into the contest with the district’s top offense, amassing an average of 450 yards per game.
“What’s going to be key for us is to protect the ball and win the battle of the clock,” said Cantu. “We have to take our time with the ball and not give up the big play, and we have to make them (Cats) fight for everything. Every single yard has to be a battle and if we can do those things then we can give ourselves a good chance.”