EDINBURG — The Edinburg Vela SaberCats raced out to a 14-point lead less than six minutes into their game against crosstown rival Edinburg North.
Less than six minutes later, the Cougars trimmed the SaberCats’ advantage to two.
By the time the scoreboard clock struck zeroes, however, Edinburg Vela scored 49 unanswered points during a 63-12 thrashing of Edinburg North on Friday at Richard R. Flores Stadium.
“I think it was a matter of just settling in and playing our game. We made some mistakes and it was a little frustrating early on,” Edinburg Vela head coach John Campbell said. “It kind of made it a game, but we were able to settle down and started playing the way we should be playing.”
The SaberCats totaled 400 yards of offense, led by 229 passing yards and four touchdown tosses from senior quarterback Chase Campbell. He threw a pair each to receivers Justin Vega and Carlos Tamez, while running back Ted Galvan added two rushing touchdowns.
“We always keep our heads up. Everyone faces adversity, so I just told our guys ‘heads up,’ and we just executed and things went well for us,” the quarterback Campbell said.
Vega finished with six receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns, while Tamez tallied five catches for 111 yards and two scores. Ryan Clough and Bobby Garcia also scored rushing touchdowns for the SaberCats
Edinburg North made it a game early on with a field goal and a safety after a punt sailed over the Edinburg Vela punter’s head and out of the end zone. Senior quarterback Evan Medrano then navigated the Cougars’ offense down field with 22 yard gains on throws to Jose Suarez and Jaycen Rosales for a touchdown to make it a 14-12 game.
The Cougars’ offense became the first team to score a touchdown against Edinburg Vela’s starting defense in 13 quarters, dating back to the third quarter of Week 1 against McAllen Memorial.
That was all the success the Vela defense allowed. Defensive back Justin Navarro returned an interception for a 26-yard touchdown and defensive lineman Jake Dufner wreaked havoc with three sacks, one blocked punt and multiple tackles on special teams.
“Obviously we get to see his performance on Thursday and Friday nights, but the big deal is he’s a phenomenal kid. He’s a great student. He’s extremely conscientious, very competitive — he’s what high school sports are all about, and we’re very fortunate to have him on our team,” coach Campbell said.
Next for the SaberCats is a crosstown rivalry game between District 31-6A’s unbeatens as Edinburg Vela hosts Edinburg High (3-2, 3-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Richard R. Flores Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Cougars are headed for a matchup against PSJA North (3-1, 2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at PSJA ISD Stadium in Pharr.