BY CLAIRE CRUZ |
SAN BENITO — There was no lack of star performances at Bobby Morrow Stadium on Friday night, but unfortunately for the Weslaco Panthers, all the star power was on San Benito’s sideline.
The Greyhounds dominated from start to finish, earning a 64-14 victory and easily protecting their undefeated status.
The victory also gave the Hounds at least a share of the District 32-6A title with one game remaining next week against Harlingen High.
“(Our boys) came out with passion and that’s what we asked them to do today,” San Benito head coach Dan Gomez said. “It’s a good job by the coaching staff and the kids executing the game plan.”
It took less than three minutes for the high-octane San Benito offense to get on the board for the first of three first quarter scores — all of which were courtesy of senior running back Tyrone Harper. He scored on runs of 6 and 83 yards, respectively, and then caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Erick Retta.
Somehow, the Greyhounds improved on their great start and scored four times in the second quarter. Senior defensive end Ryan Reza recorded a sack for a loss of nine yards to force a Weslaco punt and then provided a huge block along the Greyhound sideline to aid Harper in returning said punt for his fourth touchdown. Reza went on to finish the night with a fumble recovery and a handful of tackles.
Weslaco got on the board early in the second quarter on a flea-flicker when senior quarterback Elijah Banda hit sophomore wide receiver Jay Granados on a 77-yard strike. A made point-after cut the Greyhound lead to 29-7, but that didn’t last long.
Retta quickly connected with senior slot receiver Isaiah Trevino for touchdown passes of 57- and 9-yards, respectively. A pick-six from senior defensive back Alek Prieto closed out the first half scoring and sent San Benito into the locker room with a 50-7 lead.
“Hats off to San Benito, they’re a good football team and they made some plays in the first half to ignite some momentum and they rode that,” Weslaco head coach Michael Salinas said. “We had a couple of breakdowns that we couldn’t overcome.”
Both teams swapped punts to start the second half, but midway through the third quarter the Greyhounds snapped the lull when Retta hit Trevino again for a 38-yard touchdown. Most of San Benito’s starters were pulled after the score, but it found the end zone one last time in the fourth on a five-yard touchdown run by Francisco Garcia.
Panthers junior running back Jeremy Coronado scored on a two-yard run in the final minutes of the game.
Despite several players notching multiple touchdowns, Gomez called his offensive line the most important contributor in the blowout win. The only issue for San Benito was its 12 penalties, but Gomez said that’s something they’ll focus on later.
“We get back to work tomorrow and clean that stuff up,” Gomez said. “We saw full out effort, just that Greyhound effort we ask the kids to give on Friday night and they brought it tonight.”