LA VILLA — The returning lettermen on this season’s La Villa squad remember the feeling of a 41-point defeat on their home turf at the hands of Premont last year.
The Cardinals tasted sweet revenge in the rematch Friday with a 42-14 beatdown of the Cowboys at La Villa High School to improve to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in District 16-2A DI competition.
“They beat us really bad last year, so we just wanted to come back and seek that revenge, and it means everything to us,” senior receiver Keanu Escobar said.
La Villa sixth-year head coach Danny Perez said he knew if his team could take down the defending district champion Cowboys, the Cardinals have a shot at hoisting the 16-2A DI title at the end of the regular season for the first time in eight years.
“We watched them on film and they looked pretty tough, but we knew we had the kids to do it,” he said. “We started a little slow. I think they were nervous, I was nervous, but these kids are well conditioned. They’re strong and it showed in the second half. We kind of overpowered them in the second half.”
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Felix lit up the Premont defense with his arms and legs as he finished 6-for-9 for 142 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for 198 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 16 carries.
His two touchdown throws went to Escobar as he beat defenders when facing single coverage downfield and sliced through the Cowboys’ defense on wide receiver screens for scores of 33 and 57 yards. He finished with four receptions for 128 yards.
“I know if I toss it up, he’s going to catch it every time,” Felix said.
“Yes, sir,” Escobar yelled in the background.
Senior running back Christian Ortiz added a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Cardinals.
The La Villa defense made its statement on the game’s opening drive after kicking off. A three-and-out set the tone for a long night for the Premont offense, as senior linebacker Jayden Silguero came up with multiple big plays to shut down the opposition. In addition to his numerous tackles, Silguero stepped up twice with a fumble recovery and a sack to end Premont drives in the red zone.
“(The three-and-out) showed that we’re here to play. We’re not here to mess around,” Silguero said. “We’re here to win that district title. We’re here to bring it home.”
The Cardinals now enter their bye week 1-0 in district. La Villa returns to play Oct. 22 against Santa Maria in Santa Maria.