LOS FRESNOS — When Matthew Padilla’s shoulder injury at Odessa Permian sidelined the Los Fresnos starting quarterback, it didn’t leave the Falcons much time to come up with a new game plan for District 32-6A play.
But junior Adrian Longoria filled in capably under center in Padilla’s stead alongside junior running back Chris Resendiz, whose three touchdown runs helped Los Fresnos pick up a victory in its district opener and snap a four-game losing streak as the Falcons (3-4, 1-0 32-6A) topped Harlingen South 24-3 on Friday night at Leo Aguilar Memorial Stadium.
“We’ve installed a new offense, so we’ve had some growing pains,” Los Fresnos coach Patrick Brown said. “I think it fits our kids and it fits our community. I’m proud of our kids, because that’s a very good Harlingen South team, very well-coached.”
Longoria guided the Falcons to the Harlingen South 7-yard line on their first drive, but they were set back by a pair of penalties and forced to settle for a field goal by Job Esquivel at the 4:04 mark of the first quarter.
On the next Los Fresnos possession, Resendiz rushed for a 50-yard touchdown with 35 seconds to go in the first quarter to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead over the Hawks (2-4, 0-1 32-6A).
Brown said his skill players are versatile enough to be utilized in different situations against different schemes as the Falcons advance through their 32-6A schedule.
“Those guys are kinda interchangeable,” Brown said. “It kind of depends on what (the opposing defense) gives us. It really depends on what (the opposing defense) does on who we’re going to give the ball to.”
Los Fresnos sophomore cornerback Hector Muniz came up with a momentum-shifting play when he intercepted a pass from Hawks quarterback David Torres near midfield and returned it to the Harlingen South 17-yard line with 10:46 remaining in the second quarter.
The Falcons cashed in on the ensuing possession when Longoria handed the ball off to Resendiz, who punched it in from the Harlingen South 2-yard line to stake Los Fresnos to a 17-0 advantage with 10:06 to play in the second quarter, a gap the home team maintained for the rest of the contest.
The Hawks struggled to move the ball past the active Falcons defensive line, particularly senior defensive end Genaro Alvarez and junior defensive end Alan Torres.
“We had three of our defensive lineman hurt the last two weeks,” Brown said. “We got all those guys back. Genaro’s back in shape, and a couple of our interior lineman got healthy again. Our guys up front on defense, our linebackers and those front four really got after it, they were physical and they really controlled the line of scrimmage.”
Harlingen South put its first points on the board with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter, courtesy of a 35-yard field goal from Leo Torres.
Resendiz and the Falcons responded by punctuating the win with a 1-yard touchdown run to cap a 52-yard drive with 1:04 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Next up on the district slate for Los Fresnos is a visit to Sams Memorial Stadium to play Rivera at 7 p.m. Thursday. Harlingen South is scheduled to play at San Benito at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.