HIDALGO — Mission High has played three games at Hidalgo’s Bill Pate Memorial Stadium this season — the Eagles’ home away from home as Tom Landry Stadium undergoes repairs.
All three games have been decided by one score. But the Eagles ended up on the right side of a 28-24 thriller Friday, as senior quarterback Kevin Guerra scored the go-ahead touchdown with 44 seconds left in the game.
“I think at the end it was exactly what we expected — a battle on the gridiron, like you wouldn’t believe. I think it’s a testament to both teams fighting tooth-and-nail ’til the very end,” Mission High head coach Danny Longoria said. “I’m very appreciative of the boys and the character and heart they showed. I think overall they played a great game and our coaching staff did a great job.”
Guerra finished with more than 300 yards passing, 25 yards rushing and four total touchdowns.
“At the end of the day, it’s football and we’ve been playing all our lives — backyard football,” he said.
That style of football was on display during the first half, as Guerra connected with his No. 1 target, Josiah Guzman, on a 64-yard touchdown pass after the Cougars’ defense jumped offsides, giving the Eagles a free play.
Guerra and Guzman made them pay. The wideout finished with five receptions for 125 yards and one touchdown.
“It’s just the time spent training together, in the weight room. It’s just a good bond we have. I love that kid,” Guzman said.
Guerra’s first touchdown was a toss over the middle to receiver Eduardo Garcia for 45 yards on a catch-and-run.
Edinburg North fought back from a 21-10 third-quarter deficit to claim its first lead at 24-21 with 6:31 left in the fourth quarter.
Senior quarterback Evan Medrano threw two touchdown passes to Marco Guerrero and Richard Ruiz, while running back Mark Hernandez punched in another score on the ground for the Cougars.
“I told the kids all week long it was going to be a battle. Our kids responded and I’m proud of that,” Gonzalez said. “There’s nothing to hang our heads about or anything like that with these kids. They did a tremendous job.”
Next for Edinburg North is a crosstown rivalry game against Edinburg Vela (4-0, 2-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Richard R. Flores Stadium in Edinburg.
Meanwhile, Mission High faces Edinburg High (2-2, 2-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday, also at Richard R. Flores Stadium.