SAN BENITO — San Benito running back Fabian Garcia rushed for more than 250 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Greyhounds to a 21-10 victory over the Harlingen High Cardinals on Friday at Bobby Morrow Stadium in San Benito.
The victory marks San Benito’s first Battle of the Arroyo victory since 2018, snapping a four-game losing streak to its rival.
“First and foremost, I want to thank all my teammates,” Garcia said. “My O-line and just everybody. I couldn’t do this without them. Every player that contributed today, I can’t thank them enough. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am right now so all the glory to them. We’re just a great team. We know we got it. I’ve been playing with these boys since middle school, so we know we got it.”
After being held scoreless during the first half, Garcia scored back-to-back second-half touchdowns, including a bruising 21-yard touchdown run with 10:27 remaining to give San Benito its first lead.
Senior running back Aaron Garza put the final nail in the coffin with 2:37 left, plunging in from 1 yard to make it 21-10.
Garcia finished with season highs in carries (32) and yards (274), adding a pair of touchdowns as well. Prior to Friday, he hadn’t carried the ball more than 14 times since Week 1.
“The gameplan is definitely to get No. 4 (Garcia) the ball,” San Benito offensive coordinator Benny Ellison said. “Coming into this game we definitely wanted to feed Fabian. He is a good back, but we have other good backs too. We can move him outside and make teams worry about him at receiver too. That’s just going to help us down the road too.”
The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead into the break despite being outgained 158-99 during the first half. Senior kicker Josh Lopez connected from 20 yards for the three points.
A 74-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Randy Morales put the Cardinals up 10-0 less than a minute into the third quarter.
Morales finished with a team-high 124 yards on 13 carries, scoring the Cardinals lone touchdown.
The San Benito defense buckled down after Morales’ long touchdown run, allowing just 62 total yards and zero points during the remainder of the contest.
Harlingen High’s offense finished with just 235 total yards, well below its season average of 371.1.
“It was tough going 10-0, but the message on the sideline was that we were going to get it back,” San Benito defensive coordinator Johnny Garza said. “Our defense responded. Fabian responded. The O-line was able to create some holes and put this game back where we wanted it.”
The loss drops the Cardinals to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in district. They’ll look to bounce back against Brownsville Rivera (1-7, 0-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sams Memorial Stadium.
Meanwhile, San Benito improves to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in district, keeping pace with Weslaco High (8-0, 3-0). The Greyhounds will take on another top-four District 32-6A opponent next week, facing off against Los Fresnos (6-2, 2-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Leo Aguilar Memorial Stadium before hosting the Panthers in their regular-season finale in two weeks.
“District 32-6A is a grind,” Garza said. “I’ve been a part of it for a while now. The last few years, if you don’t go 10-0, you’re not winning a district title. Every game counts and matters. Harlingen is a great program. They’re in it every year as well. The harp is to make sure we play hard week in and week out to make sure that when we get to the end, our record is unblemished, and we get that title back.”