East Valley Football: Four teams remain unbeaten

Three of the East Valley’s four remaining unbeaten football teams got their district seasons started on the right foot in Week 5.

The San Benito Greyhounds (4-0, 1-0) and Harlingen South Hawks (4-0, 1-0) continued to hold down the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively, in the RGVSports.com top 10 poll after opening District 32-6A play with comfortable victories.

Port Isabel stayed hot in its District 16-4A Division II opener, outdueling Robstown for a 55-40 victory. The Tarpons (4-0, 1-0) made their season debut at No. 10 in the poll.

San Benito defeated Los Fresnos 38-7 on Friday. After giving up a first-quarter touchdown, the Greyhounds’ defense did what it has done in several games this season — locked down its opponent. They recorded two interceptions, continuing a streak of having at least two turnovers in every game this season.

Sophomore running back Fabian Garcia had a huge day to lead San Benito’s offense. He scored three rushing touchdowns and accumulated 255 yards on 21 carries. All of San Benito’s touchdowns came on the ground, with one each from quarterback Rodney Rodriguez and running back Gavin Suarez.

Harlingen South blew out Brownsville Hanna 41-12 behind solid performances from athlete Jeremiah Rivera and quarterback Xander Casarez. Crosstown rival Harlingen High also cruised to a district-opening victory, beating Brownsville Rivera 41-10, adding to the intrigue of this week’s Bird Bowl.

The No. 3 Harlingen High Cardinals (3-1, 1-0) were paced by junior running back Izaiah Bell on offense. Bell scored four total touchdowns — two rushing, two receiving — and senior kicker Joseph Garza hit two field goals. The Cardinals’ strong defensive unit continues to impress

Port Isabel rode another stellar performance from senior running back Gilbert Medina in Friday’s victory. Medina rushed for more than 200 yards. Raymondville and Rio Hondo, the other East Valley teams in 16-4A DII, both dropped their openers to Rockport-Fulton and Ingleside, respectively.

Marine Military Academy improved to 4-0 with a 26-13 victory over Premont. Both teams were unbeaten going into the matchup, and MMA used a big fourth quarter to seal the win and the intact unblemished record.

The Lyford Bulldogs (4-1, 1-0) opened their District 16-3A DI campaign by shutting out Falfurrias 22-0. Senior quarterback Brendan Nunez tossed two touchdowns and was 8-for-11 with 168 passing yards. Senior receiver Diego Guerra was his top target, with two of his five catches resulting in touchdowns and totaling 133 receiving yards. Senior running back/receiver Justin Vela added a rushing score.

Brownsville St. Joseph (2-2, 1-0) defeated San Antonio St. Anthony’s 46-18 in its TAPPS DII District 3 opener. Senior quarterback Luigi Cristiano threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns, two to senior receiver Nick Jackson (11 receptions, 98 yards). Senior Santiago Vidaurri had one receiving and one rushing score, and sophomore Juan Pablo Vidaurri notched two rushing touchdowns.

The Santa Maria Cougars (3-2) bounced back to claim a 46-15 victory over Progreso. Junior quarterback Chris Ibarra accumulated 332 yards of offense and scored four total touchdowns. Sophomore running back Esiah Gracia rushed for 119 yards and three scores, and Juan Morales and Jerry Morales each had one receiving touchdown.

It was a tough week for the Metro-area teams. In District 16-5A DI, Brownsville Veterans Memorial picked up the only win in a 1-3 week for the Brownsville ISD group. Both BISD 32-6A teams lost their district openers.

Brownsville Veterans is in a four-way tie for second in the 16-5A DI standings at 3-1 behind 4-0 McAllen Memorial. Brownsville Pace is 2-2, while Brownsville Porter and Brownsville Lopez are both 0-4.