SAN BENITO — The 88th installment of the Battle of the Arroyo will take center stage tonight at 7:30 at Bobby Morrow Stadium.
While tonight’s game is arguably the biggest rivalry game in the Valley, it is also the District 32-6A opener for both teams.
“To me this game is always played hard, and from that I learned to play every game hard,” said Cards coach Manny Gomez. “It was instilled in my family to play hard and as coaches it is our job to prepare the kids and execute. Every game is big especially in this district. It’s almost like every game is a playoff game each week and it will bring out the best in both of us and San Benito.”
Both teams come in off their bye weeks and are coming off losses in Week 5.
“It is an important game for us, but we also take it week by week,” said Hounds quarterback Jacob Cavazos. “We prepared all week to be ready for Friday night.”
The Cardinals found their footing offensively against Midland High in Week 5. Junior quarterback Jaime Galvan threw for 156 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Galvan also displayed his running ability, and ran for 158 yards and scored three times.
One challenge both defenses will have is to contain dual threat quarterbacks Galvan and Cavazos.
Galvan’s counterpart, Cavazos is also a magician with his legs. Cavazos has rushed for over 500 yards through five games this season.
Keys for the Cards:
Senior wide out Joe Reyna will need to have a big game. Reyna brings the home run ability to the Cardinal offense.
Reyna will line up against senior defensive back Nick Castaneda. Both Reyna and Castaneda are two of the best at their respective position.
The Cards defense will have their hands full with wide out Mitch Guajardo and running back Kyler Castilleja. Frankie Garcia is another weapon the Hounds like to use through the air and on the ground.
Keys for the Hounds:
The Hounds will need to limit the big plays from the Cards offense. San Benito will look to their hard-hitting linebacker AJ Garcia. Garcia is currently fourth in the region in sacks, with seven on the year.
Along with Garcia will be outside linebacker Albert Mercado and inside linebacker Justin Torres who leads the team in tackles with 37.
Offensively, the Hounds will look to establish their rushing attack with Castilleja and Cavazos. Through the air Cavazos will look to his trusty wide out Guajardo who leads the team in receptions.