East Valley teams close regular season with wins

The final week of the regular season saw several teams from the East Valley pick up important wins.

Brownsville St. Joseph (5-5, 4-3) outlasted Corpus Christi John Paul II 49-48 to secure its spot in the TAPPS playoffs. The Bloodhounds rebounded from three-game losing skid to win final their final two contests, going from sixth to third in the district.

Senior quarterback Luigi Cristiano had another phenomenal game, dishing out seven passing touchdowns on 32 completions for 468 yards. His top target was Adrian Del Pozo, who scored four receiving touchdowns with a team-high 253 yards on 13 catches. Santiago Vidaurri led the defense with 14 tackles.

Santa Maria (4-5, 1-3) defeated Riviera-Kaufer 34-20 to clinch the final playoff spot in District 16-2A Division I. Quarterback Chris Ibarra led the team with 72 rushing yards, three passing touchdowns with 136 yards, and one receiving score.

Cougars sophomore running back Esiah Gracia threw and caught one touchdown. Santa Maria spread the ball around and had five different players score. Jerry Morales had a team-best 68 yards on four receptions with one touchdown. The Cougars’ defense held Riviera-Kaufer to 150 yards of offense.

Harlingen High (7-3, 5-2) beat Brownsville Hanna 38-7, and San Benito (8-2, 5-2) took down Weslaco High 26-3 to secure playoff trips for the Cardinals and Greyhounds, respectively.

The Cardinals recorded three turnovers to slow down the Eagles, including a pair of interceptions by Albert Vasquez.

Atticus De Leon served as San Benito’s quarterback for a second straight game and was 5-for-11 for 53 yards and one passing touchdown. Senior athlete Jermaine Corbin led the ground game with 126 yards and scored twice, once rushing and once receiving. Sophomore standout running back Fabian Garcia scored two rushing touchdowns with 101 yards. The Greyhounds’ defense recorded five sacks and three turnovers.

Lyford (7-3, 4-2) got a lot of athletes involved in its 46-3 rout of Progreso. The Bulldogs racked up a whopping 757 yards of offense with 510 yards coming on the ground. Five different Bulldogs scored rushing touchdowns, led by senior Mark Marroquin’s two scores with 89 yards.

Four Bulldogs quarterbacks combined to complete 11 of 14 passing attempts and targeted eight receivers. Adrian Cruz had a team-high 56 receiving yards. Defensively, Lyford recorded two interceptions courtesy of Diego Guerra and Isaias Gonzalez.

Harlingen South (10-0, 7-0) completed a perfect season with a 29-10 victory over Los Fresnos (6-3, 5-2). Both teams are in the postseason. Rio Hondo (4-6, 2-5) sent its senior class out with 34-29 win over Robstown. Brownsville Veterans Memorial (7-3, 7-2) defeated Brownsville Pace (3-7, 3-6) and heads into the postseason on a two-game winning streak.

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