PHARR — Cesar Bocanegra moved in motion from left to right, handled a toss from quarterback Ramiro Ramirez and proceeded to dance his way through, around and past Donna High’s defense into the end zone — twice.
Bocanegra’s big plays, combined with a complete defensive effort, led the PSJA Southwest Javelinas (2-0, 1-0) to a 28-14 win over Donna (1-1, 0-1) on Thursday night in a District 16-5A DI opener at PSJA Stadium.
“I thought (Cesar) did a heck of a job. He was full-go and 100% tonight and he showed us what he’s capable of,” PSJA Southwest head coach Mike Evans said after Bocanegra’s 181-yard and two-touchdown eruption. “He’s an explosive player. He’s the most experienced and he adds a spark to this offense.”
PSJA Southwest’s offensive line controlled the game from start to finish as they cleared way for the Javelinas to rack up 361 rushing yards and 393 total yards.
Running back Artie Villa briefly exited the game in the first half after a lower body injury, but he came back with a vengeance in the second half as he posted 87 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
“I couldn’t have done anything without our linemen. We need them to get into the end zone,” Villa said. “I feel like we can have a good season, we’ll have some challenges and some obstacles along the way, but we can do this.”
The task for the Southwest defense was slowing down Donna High’s junior quarterback, Avery Bowen. One week ago, Bowen shredded Donna North’s defense for 187 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
Against Southwest, the Hogs’ defense found a way to slow him down, holding Bowen to 113 rushing yards and one touchdown.
“You can’t stop those kind of players, you have to slow them down. Bowen and that Donna offense is stout. We got lucky they had some mistakes that allowed us to stop them on some drives,” Evans said.
Southwest defensive back Adrian Hernandez came up big on two occasions for the Javelinas as he came away with a fumble recovery in his own end zone and an interception of Bowen in the fourth quarter, putting an end to Donna’s late comeback attempt.
“He has a nose for the ball and he finds it,” Evans said of Hernandez.
Hernandez said the key was keeping the heat on Bowen to prevent him from getting going on the ground.
“We did a great job tonight, especially on the defense stopping their No. 1 quarterback,” he said. “It’s a great team win. We had to keep pounding that quarterback and keep him from running the ball.”
Next on the schedule for Southwest is a district game against rival PSJA Memorial at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 at PSJA Stadium.
“We’re going to turn the page and looking to go 1-0 next week. It’s one game at a time,” Evans said.
Donna High will play host to Brownsville Pace in Week 3 at 7:30 p.m on Sept. 13 at Bennie LaPrade Stadium.