PSJA High is 8-0 and 5-0 in District 31-6A, as is Edinburg Vela.
This one doesn’t require much thought.
“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be the game of the week,” PSJA High junior quarterback Trey Guajardo said after his team’s 30-17 win against PSJA Memorial on Friday. “We are ready. We know what type of team they are. They are a great ball club.”
After Vela’s 48-7 win over PSJA North on Thursday, coach John Campbell was also chomping at the bit for the big matchup.
“Our next opponent is also undefeated,” Campbell said. “We are looking forward to starting our new prep and getting ready for our game against PSJA.”
The most critical matchup in The Monitor’s Game of the Week, which will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at PSJA Stadium in Pharr, is the quarterbacks.
Guajardo leads the Rio Grande Valley in passing yards with 2,460. No one else is over 2,000 on the year. He has 26 touchdowns on the season and a completion percentage of 67. Vela senior Nathan Garcia has 1,748 yards on the year to go with 17 TDs and a 66 completion percentage.
The one area in which Garcia has the biggest advantage is in ball security. Garcia only has 2 interceptions on the year compared to 7 for Guajardo.
The defensive matchup will also be spotlighted. Coming into Week 9, Vela was allowing 252.6 yards per game, the best mark in 31-6A, while PSJA was right behind with 278.1. The SaberCats allow an average of 12.2 points per game, and the Bears on average give up 13.5.
The stakes on this matchup aren’t just the first loss of the season or bragging rights, either.
“This game will be very big,” sophomore middle linebacker Jacob Sanchez said. “We are competing for the district championship.”
For PSJA High coach Lupe Rodriguez, Vela has long been a team he was competing against for the top spot. Thursday will be no different.
“It’s like I told the guys ever since I was in 5A. Vela, when they were in our district, they were the big dogs in 5A,” Rodriguez said. “I said, ‘Now we are in 6A, and it’s the same thing.’ I want to get them, bad. I told them, ‘In order to be the man, you have to beat the man. And they are the man. They are coming into our home.’ I love our chances next week. It’s going to be a great test for us. It’s going to be a great ballgame, period. We are both undefeated. You want to be in those types of games. And we are going to be there.”