McALLEN — McAllen Memorial and San Benito seemed headed towards a defensive battle through nearly two quarters of play Friday, with the Mustangs clinging to a 7-6 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the half.
Then, Fabian Garcia happened.
After lining up at receiver during San Benito’s first three drives, Garcia made the move back to his running back possession, instantly making his impact felt.
Two carries into the move, Garcia was in the end zone, giving San Benito its first lead of the night. The score was just the start of a dominant night by the do-it-all athlete, erupting for over 200 yards and four touchdowns to lead San Benito past McAllen Memorial 33-13 during a non-district contest at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“I just felt like I wanted to go play running back and do my thing,” Garcia said. “Luckily, I came out like I came out. My mentality when I’m out there, I just want to think about my mom, dad and brother and keep going.”
Garcia scored on runs of 28, 32, 71 and 33 yards, with his last two scores coming during the third quarter to put the Greyhounds up for good.
The Greyhounds’ superstar finished with 12 carries for 211 yards and four touchdowns. Senior running back Aaron Garza added 80 yards on 20 carries to the Greyhounds’ 310 total rushing yards during the win.
The victory moves San Benito to 3-0 on the year, outscoring their last two opponents 91-13 after winning a close contest against Brownsville Veterans 28-21 during Week 1.
“It has been a rough start to the season,” Garcia said. “We just have to keep going on to the next week and go for 4-0. Next week we’re going to practice and go hard and worry about our game Friday against Mission Vets.”
McAllen Memorial struck first during Friday’s matchup, taking their opening drive 76 yards for the score. Junior JP Garza capped the drive with a 39-yard run.
A 34-yard touchdown run by Sebastian Aleman gave the Mustangs the lead back after Garcia’s first touchdown of the day, but Garcia answered right back to put San Benito up heading into the half and they never looked back.
Aleman finished with 15 carries for 116 yards and a score, with Garza adding 66 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
The Greyhounds (3-0) return home for a non-district bout against the Mission Veterans Patriots (1-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at Bobby Morrow Stadium in San Benito.
The Mustangs (2-1) kick off District 16-5A DI against the Edinburg Vela SaberCats (3-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.