RIO GRANDE CITY — The Rattlers put on a show in Week 1 as Rio Grande City emerged victorious in “The Starr County Super Bowl,” rolling to a 45-14 win over rival Roma.
While it was a good start for first-year head coach Leo Mireles, a Roma alum, and his Rattlers, it was just that — a start. With the beginning of District 16-5A DI play now here, RGC is focusing on taking another step forward.
“Coming back home, it took some pressure off, but by all means, we have to keep rowing the boat and getting after it and move forward,” Mireles said. “We talk about one game at a time, like those ice-climbers. They can’t start looking at the top of the mountain, they got to look at it one step at a time. Right now, we haven’t won anything. One game doesn’t predict the whole season.”
At 1-0, it was an emphatic opening week for the Rattlers. They totaled 45 points and 449 yards of offense. Senior quarterback Mario Garza was nearly perfect, going 28-for-31 with 232 passing yards and three touchdowns. It was his first start since a knee injury ended his junior season in Week 4 of 2018.
“I felt great, the team did great. The offensive line gave me time and I delivered the ball. We just take whatever the defense gives us,” Garza said. “That’s how we roll.”
The recipient of all three of Garza’s touchdown passes was receiver Aaron Marroquin, who is also an all-district basketball player.
“I know he’s (Marroquin) going to go get it wherever I put it. He’s a great receiver. It’s hard to guard him,” Garza said.
Marroquin hauled in 12 catches for 75 yards to go with his three visits to the end zone.
“If I have a good game, it was because of my quarterback; if my quarterback was having a good day, it’s because of our coaches. It’s all a cycle. Our coach calls the right play, our quarterback runs it the right way and that’s when I’m able to have a good day,” Marroquin said. “Mario is our leader out there. He’s our point guard if it was basketball. If he has a good game, we’re all going to have a good game.”
Mireles said Marroquin’s leadership learned on the basketball court lends itself to changing the culture at Rio Grande City.
“Aaron helps us out on the offensive side of the ball. Everybody’s wanting to change the culture and be a part of a winning program. They’re doing everything we ask for,” Mireles said.
Now, the Rattlers are looking to build off their first good game of 2019, but these games mean more. District play began last night for the 10 teams in 16-5A DI.
Up first on Rio Grande City’s schedule is La Joya Palmivew.
Last year, the Lobos ran all over the Rattlers for 346 rushing yards, 418 total, and Palmview walked away with a 37-29 win.
Although Palmview fell in a Week 1 rivalry game against La Joya High 13-12, the Lobos went down to the wire and are hungry to get in the win column.
“They’re a great football team with great tradition, their coach does a good job, but we can only control the way we play. We have to control our side and I think we’ve prepared well,” Mireles said.
Kickoff between the Rattlers and Lobos is scheduled for 7:30 tonight at La Joya Football Stadium in La Joya.