BROWNSVILLE — The San Benito Greyhounds picked up their second consecutive District 32-6A shutout win Thursday at Sams Memorial Stadium.
The No. 6 Greyhounds (7-2, 4-2) cruised to a 50-0 victory over the Brownsville Rivera Raiders (2-7, 0-6), keeping themselves firmly in the playoff hunt with one game remaining in the regular season. They’ll face Weslaco High next Friday with a postseason ticket on the line.
“We just had to go out and show out,” senior athlete Jermaine Corbin said. “We come in and work from Saturday through Thursday. We practice hard, and we come out and execute. … We just have to keep working hard and get ready for the next opponent.”
The Greyhounds had sophomore Atticus De Leon, who typically lines up as a running back, at quarterback in the contest. He directed the offense well, aided by big performances from Corbin and sophomore running back Fabian Garcia. San Benito’s offensive line supplied plenty of protection and running lanes, helping the explosive plays.
San Benito’s defense held Rivera to less than 50 yards of offense during the first half and forced four fumbles in the game. The hard-hitting ’Hounds controlled the line of scrimmage and applied frequent pressure to the Raiders’ quarterbacks.
Garcia scored on an 18-yard carry to cap San Benito’s opening drive following a big punt return from Bomani Guy. Corbin tacked on three of his four touchdowns before halftime.
After a fumble recovery by Mariano Garcia ended Rivera’s second possession, Corbin pranced into the end zone on a 4-yard rush and ran for the two-point conversion. He added a 3-yard rushing score and a 21-yard touchdown reception from De Leon.
San Benito got right back to business after the break, scoring twice during the third quarter to make it 44-0. De Leon notched a 19-yard rushing touchdown and a 52-yard passing touchdown to Corbin.
“I give credit to all my teammates. They always push me, and I’m not the way I am without my teammates and my coaches,” Corbin said. “Players go down, and you got to step up and fill in. (De Leon) did a really good job.”
Greyhounds coach Dan Gomez pulled the starters late in the third, but the scoring didn’t stop. Backup quarterback Aaron Corona and running back Aaron Garza drove down field consistently, beating Rivera to the edge and following blocks up the gut with strong running. Noe Zavala added a 4-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth.
“(I liked) the energy we brought out. (Getting other players) experience is big because you can’t coach experience. It goes a long way,” Gomez said. “The challenge was put on our seniors to make sure that we came out and got things done, and we were happy with the way our seniors came out tonight. We’ll go in tomorrow and watch film, and focus up for Weslaco and be as prepared as we possibly can for a very good team.”
The Raiders showed their fight and battled through a bevy of injuries. Three different quarterbacks were used, and Rivera was without some key playmakers. Senior starter and junior backup quarterbacks Ramsey Rocha and George Vergada both got hurt and spent some series on the sideline, but their tenacity brought both back to the field.
“We’re beat up right now. We have kids that, despite being injured, they don’t want to get off the field,” Raiders coach Beto Leal said. “I want them to know that, as coaches, we see that. We know what kind of kids we have. I love these kids. They play hard, and I know they’re never going to quit. What else can I ask for?”
Sophomore running back Edgar Rocha ran hard and notched Rivera’s biggest play, bursting through a lane on a first-down carry and using his speed for a 44-yard gain. A penalty negated a would-be touchdown pass, and Rivera turned it over on downs after the breakaway.
Mariano Garcia, Nova Bejaran and Josh Vasquez were among the defensive standouts for San Benito. Marcos Cantu and Damien Longoria recovered fumbles.
Eric Arevalo, Rogelio Lopez, Arnold Rodarte and Jesus Pardo played well for Rivera’s defense.
Rivera’s seniors will play their final game next Thursday. It hasn’t been the season the Raiders hoped for, but they’ll look to end things on a high note against Donna North.
“It’s like life. We’re going to have ups and downs, and we’re going to keep working,” Leal said. “For the seniors, (next week) is going to be the last time they get to play at Sams Stadium. How do you want to go out? We’re going to keep them motivated. We’re going to stay working.”