McALLEN — Prior to his sophomore season, La Villa’s Brandon Felix last start at quarterback during his eighth-grade year. He served as a backup safety as a freshman and entered his second year primarily playing in the defensive secondary for the Cardinals.

Midway through the 2021 season, however, La Villa tabbed Felix as its starting quarterback just in time for the District 16-2A DI opener against Premont, the defending district champion, on Oct. 8.

Felix was 8-for-11 passing for 164 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. More importantly, the Cardinals won 42-14 to take control of the district title race, which they went on to win with a 4-0 record in 16-2A DI play.

“I was just practicing safety, not really quarterback, and then when I got my time to shine, I just let it go,” he said.

After splashing onto the scene as a sophomore for the Cardinals, Felix is The Monitor’s 2021 All-Area Football Newcomer of the Year.

Felix’s insertion into the starting lineup added another element to an already dangerous rushing attack with running backs AJ Contreras and Christian Ortiz — it created a three-headed monster of a backfield that ran over District 16-2A DI competition.

“The (offensive) line made everything happen,” he said.

LaVilla’s Brandon Felix (6) drags a Ganado’s defender Corbin Teague (21) in the 1st half of a Region IV-2A D1 area round playoff game at Cabaniss Stadium on Thursday, Nov.18,2021 in Corpus Christi, Texas. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | [email protected])

Felix finished the year with 591 passing yards and eight touchdown throws while adding 844 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. He also posted 11 tackles and one interception during limited action at safety.

“Once they moved me up and gave me that quarterback position, I knew everybody was going to look at me, so I knew I had to set an example,” he said. “I wanted to show them what I have.”

Another source of motivation for Felix was following in the footsteps of his older brothers, Rey and Damien.

La Villa fifth-year head coach Danny Perez coached both of Felix’s older brothers. He said he saw the younger Brandon put in the work during the offseason, which translated into an opportunity to move from safety to quarterback and run the Cardinals offense.

“Brandon was here all summer. His brothers played for us and he wants to do better than his brothers,” Perez said after La Villa’s win against Premont.

“I just tried to be better than they were. That’s my goal and I’m almost there,” Felix said with a grin.

While the brotherly competition is there, they also chipped in with words of wisdom when it was Felix’s time to shine.

“My brothers just told me to stay calm, gave me some tips on what they would do and helped me out,” he said.

With two years ahead of him, Felix hopes he can lead La Villa’s football program to new heights.

“We’re going for district (championships) back-to-back-to-back and that would be the first time in school history,” he said.

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