Bobcats square off with Tigers tonight in Mercedes

Edinburg High running back Shandon Woodard (32) carries the ball through the La Joya Juarez-Lincoln defense in a non-district game at Richard R. Flores stadium on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

 

EDINBURG — Shandon Woodard moved to running back from linebacker this season, and so far it’s been a good recipe for success for the Edinburg High Bobcats.

Woodard, a junior, has rushed for 406 yards and scored six touchdowns in three games.

Tonight, when the Bobcats face the Mercedes Tigers, they will be leaning on Woodard and company to keep their winning streak alive.

The Bobcats have been making things happen with their one-two punch in the backfield with Woodard and junior running back A.J. Treviño. Together they have rushed for 577 yards.

The Bobcats (2-1) come into Tiger Stadium tonight with a two-game winning streak. The Tigers (1-2) look to jump back into the winner’s column after losing two straight on the road. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

During their last meeting, the Bobcats rolled the Tigers 45-18 at home last year.

“This is our final preseason game heading into district and it’s going to be intense,” Mercedes head coach Roger Adame said. “They have some good players and they match up well against us.”

Adame said the Tigers are hungry to get back on the field, and the game will help them heading into their tough district competition starting next week.

The Tigers have compiled 302 tackles in three games, and 54 of those are from linebacker Brandon Adame.

“They have plenty of experience and are a physical ball club,” Edinburg High head coach J.J. Leija said.

Leija said the Tigers have a very good defense, so executing on offense is crucial.

The Tigers are coming off two close losses. In both games they led during the fourth quarter, but critical turnovers during that final period were costly.

The Tigers first loss came against McAllen Rowe, 28-25, and their second against La Feria, 35-31.

Adame said the Tigers practiced all week on taking care of the ball and how to hold onto a lead late in the game. Mercedes has thrown three interceptions and lost three fumbles so far this season.

The Tigers are led by sophomore quarterback Michael Cisneros. He is a dual threat signal-caller who has multiple receivers he can connect with from inside the pocket or on the scramble. If he finds open space he can move the football for a big gain. Cisneros has completed nearly 75 percent of his throws for 762 yards, averaging 254 aerial yards per game, with a pair of touchdowns. He has also rushed for 175 yards on 42 carries.

Using the spread offense attack, the Tigers have connected with multiple receivers. Three are averaging 10 or more yards per catch.

Junior wideout Josiah Cantu leads the Tiger receiving core with 328 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior running back Jared De Los Santos has 175 yards rushing and the team’s other four rushing touchdowns. De Los Santos is averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

“They come out in multiple sets, and it will be similar to what we will see in district,” Leija said. “It’s going to be a good test.”

rgarcia@themonitor.com