DONNA — Donna High’s Xavier Rodriguez had time to say a prayer before hauling in a go-ahead touchdown with four minutes left in the fourth quarter to help the Redskins to a 43-37 non-district win over Edcouch-Elsa on Friday night at Bennie La Prade Stadium.
Geoffrey Lefevre’s 20-yard touchdown to Rodriguez hung up for what seemed like an eternity as Rodriguez easily beat the coverage and was wide open in the back of the end zone.
The touchdown capped off a tremendous comeback by the Redskins. Donna High was down 28-7 early in the second quarter.
“I did not think I was going to be that open,” Rodriguez said. “When I saw the ball coming I was nervous, not going to lie, it was an easy catch. The rest is … ya know.”
Edcouch-Elsa had taken a 37-35 lead after Jesus Ramirez nailed a 38-yard field goal to set up the tense finish.
The Redskins battled back in the game with hard running from back Marcus Mata. The junior scored three second-half touchdowns but was hurt on the final drive, forcing Rodriguez, Lefevre and senior Daniel Martinez to make plays to secure the win.
“It was a great comeback,” Martinez said. “Everyone had their heads down, but we just kept pushing.”
It was all Edcouch-Elsa for most of the first half.
Yellow Jackets quarterback Elijah Trevino found the end zone from 15 yards, Gabriel Avila scored two touchdowns and Jayreed Amaya took back a punt 87 yards to put the Yellow Jackets up 28-7, but the Redskins picked up momentum with a 4-yard touchdown run by Lefevre, his second of the game, 25 seconds before halftime.
“I told the kids at the half that we are playing poor, but we are still there,” Donna High head coach Mike Gonzales said. “We were within 14 points and we had to clean it up. Our offense has some dudes and we just had to play like some dudes.”
“I told our kids that if you do not believe me now, I hope you are all the way in,” Gonzales said. “We held the rope as a community, a town and a school – it makes me happy.”
The Redskins (3-1) face Brownsville Lopez at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Brownsville, and Edcouch-Elsa (2-2) takes on Port Isabel at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home.