BY RAUL GARCIA
MERCEDES — Jared De Los Santos rushed for a 48-yard touchdown and Alex Rincon scored on a 2-point conversion with 54 seconds remaining to lift Mercedes to a 17-10 non-district victory over Edinburg High at Tiger Stadium.
“We know we are a very explosive team, we know we have the weapons and it was just a matter of time before we showed that,” Mercedes head coach Roger Adame said.
Edinburg High led 10-9 before Mercedes went on a five-play, 77-yard drive capped by De Los Santos’ touchdown. The visiting Bobcats took the lead on a 42-yard field goal with 2:07 remaining in the fourth.
“Every game we have been in theses past three weeks we have had the lead in the fourth quarter,” Adame said. “Tonight, we finished and we are proud of each and every one of them.”
Mercedes moves to 2-2 heading into district next week against the Edcouch-Elsa Yellow Jackets. Edinburg High drops to 2-2, opening district next against the Weslaco East Wildcats.
The teams battled to a 0-0 halftime score before Arnold Coronado converted on a 39-yard field goal to give Mercedes on the scoreboard during the third quarter.
Later in the quarter, however, Edinburg’s star running back, Shandon Woodard, broke away for a 35-yard touchdown run and a 7-3 lead for the Bobcats.
Woodard went on to rush for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Going into the game, Woodward had rushed for 357 yards and six touchdowns in three games.
He helped Edinburg control most of the first half with their running game as they ate up the clock.
The Tigers were able to contain the big back for nearly three full quarters until he broke loose for the 35-yard touchdown.
For most of the game, the Tigers’ defense wrapped up Woodard and then more Tigers swarmed in to take him down.
One of two crucial plays came during the second half with the Tigers punted and recovered their own punt ball near midfield.
A botched Bobcats punt left the Tigers in Bobcats territory, eventually setting up the Tigers first score with the field goal.
“We had some mishaps and some breakdowns, and that is what the non district games are for,” Edinburg High defensive coordinator Robert Valdez said. “We wanted to come out with the win, but it didn’t happen that way.”
After the last Tigers touchdown, the Bobcats drove the length of the field in less than a minute but did not convert a pass into the end zone to tie the game with no time remaining.
“We just came up a little short in the end,” Valdez said.