McALLEN — McAllen Rowe senior running back Isaiah Mata rushed for more than 150 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Warriors past the La Joya Palmview Lobos 35-3 during their District 15-5A DI opener Thursday at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Mata scored on runs of 13, 77 and 2 yards, finishing the night with 16 carries for 174 yards.

The senior work horse’s big day was complemented by a stout performance from McAllen Rowe’s defense, allowing just 151 total yards and no trips to the end zone.

“Our defense stepped up and did our job,” Mata said. “They executed well. Our offense executed as well. Our O-line stepped up their play today. Overall, our team performed good. I want to thank our offensive linemen because they did really good today. They set me up for success. I just did the rest.”

McAllen Rowe jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead, scoring on the first two drives of the night.

Sophomore quarterback Elijah Garza capped the Warriors opening drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Sebastian Islas, with Mata finding paydirt from 13 yards on the ensuing offensive possession.

The Warriors defense got in on the scoring during the final minute of the first half. Nicholas Hartman recovered a fumble forced by Adan De La Garza and took it back 70-plus yards for the score to make it 21-0 at the break.

“That touchdown was huge,” McAllen Rowe head coach Robert Flores said. “In this game, a momentum shifter like that is big. A turnover like that is what they pride themselves on. To have our linebacker take one to the house was exciting. That definitely sparked a jump in them. Credit to our staff. Coach Bocanegra gets those guys prepared really well.”

McAllen Rowe picked right up where it left off during the third, scoring on its first two possessions of the half. Mata scored both touchdowns during the period, breaking a 77-yard run two plays into the half and adding a 2-yard touchdown plunge with 4:20 left in the third.

La Joya Palmview kicker Sebastian Rios netted the Lobos only points of the contest, converting a 26-yard field goal late during the third.

“It is a great feeling starting district with a win,” Flores said. “We are in one of the toughest districts, so coming out here and protecting the house and execute on all three phases is big. Our kids fought hard against Palmview, who is always well coached by coach Requenez and his staff. Its just good getting this win. It’s a good feeling.”

The Warriors (2-2, 1-0) hit the road for their next district contest, taking on La Joya Juarez-Lincoln (0-4, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at La Joya ISD Stadium.

The Lobos (2-2, 0-1) continue district play against McAllen Memorial (2-1, 0-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at La Joya ISD Stadium in La Joya.

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Photo Gallery: Rowe defeats Palmview in season opener 35-3