McALLEN — Quarterback Jonas Ortiz rolled out of the pocket on third down for the McAllen Rowe Warriors as the McAllen High Bulldogs’ defense chased him. He looked down field, zipped the pigskin 30 yards for a touchdown pass to James Gamez who stepped into the end zone unscathed.
It was the Warriors’ first of three scores in the first quarter that went unanswered by McAllen High until the fourth quarter.
The Warriors (4-0, 1-0) went on to win 28-14 in the mutual District 30-6A opener for the city rivals.
Early in the first quarter, the Warriors capitalized off two Bulldogs fumbles.
McAllen Rowe running back Joey Partida rumbled into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown soon after Rowe’s defense recovered the first Bulldogs fumble inside the 40-yard line of Warrior territory.
“We we able to score points early on and that is what gave us the momentum,” McAllen Rowe head coach Robert Flores said. “During the game they stepped it up, and turned it around in the second half.”
McHi cut the lead to one score, 21-14, on a long pass play from Justin Curl to wide receiver Quinllion Canada and a rushing touchdown by wide receiver Felipe Magana late in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs were successful in recovering an onside kick that led to the Bulldogs second touchdown.
“We knew as far as an inner-city rival game goes, this one was going to be very tough,” Flores said. “I’m happy with where we are at, but we have to keep getting better because it’s always a work in progress.”
After the Bulldogs’ final touchdown, Flores called a play-action pass and Ortiz connected with tight end Gustavo Cruz on a 60-yard pass and run play for the final score of the evening
Ortiz handed the ball to Partida to wind down the clock and then took a knee to end the match.
“It was a great game and both sides of the ball had great talent,” Partida said. “Our touchdowns and their touchdowns just made more of a better game.”
Partida said coming off a great defensive turnover he had to score for his team.
“Our defense played a heck of a game tonight,” Partida said. “My hat goes off to our defense.”
He said staying undefeated is a great reward for the Warriors but they are going to continue to push harder.
“We want a district title and to go to playoffs,” Partida said. “That’s what we want at Rowe, that’s what we work for.”
McAllen High (2-2, 0-1) plays at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Mission High (3-1, 1-0). McAllen Rowe plays at La Joya Juarez-Lincoln at 7:30 p.m. Friday.