BROWNSVILLE — Rio Hondo may have graduated a strong group of athletes from last year’s football team, but the Bobcats appear to be well on the way to having another successful season with some newcomers in the lineup.
One of the newcomers is sophomore quarterback Zachariah Rios, who seems to be making himself feel right at home as the team’s starting signal caller.
Rios threw six touchdowns during the Bobcats’ three possessions of controlled scrimmage play Friday at Brownsville Lopez. The Bobcats won the scrimmage 8-0 against the Lobos.
“We did a great job tonight on both sides of the ball,” Rio Hondo coach Rocky James said. “Defensively, we hustled to the ball and we shut Lopez down. I thought we did a great job against the pass. We really did a good job overall by stopping the pass and stopping the run. Our guys came out with a great attitude, and it showed.
“Offensively, I think we picked up right where we left off the last two or three years,” James added. “Zachariah Rios is a sophomore who can throw the ball to players like Ismael Rodriguez, who is also a sophomore. I believe they hooked up three or four times tonight for touchdowns.
“We always seem to graduate an average of 23 players or so. I’ve got six sophomores starting on our football team right now. They were the ones scoring. The QB is a sophomore, the receiver is a sophomore and we have a running back who is a sophomore. I’ve got a good, young group of players. Zachariah is an outstanding athlete who plays a lot of sports. He’s a really good football player.”
Rios’ TD passes came on plays covering 20, 30, 15, 14, 18 and 72 yards.
Besides Rodriguez catching TD passes, the other receivers to haul in a scoring pass were Jona Ortega, Ethan Reyna, Humberto Barrera and Joey Ortega.
Also for the Bobcats, running back Fabian Torres scored on runs of 75 and 20 yards.
“I’m really proud of our team,” James said. “We came out and really took care of business. I know it’s our first scrimmage, but it seems a little promising when you come out and dominate a football game, and I thought we did that tonight.”
The Bobcats scrimmage again at 6:30 p.m. next Friday at Lyford.
Lopez coach Armando Gutierrez said his team just needs to continue to work hard to improve.
“We’re a young team and we’re learning how to play as a unit,” Gutierrez said. “We will only get better with every snap.”