MISSION —The Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks remember what it was like losing to Sharyland High four out of five times to start “The Snakeskin Classic,” the rivalry game between the D-Backs and Rattlers.
But in the sixth edition of the rivalry Friday night, the Diamondbacks turned the tables with a dominant 63-28 victory at Richard Thompson Stadium.
“Our kids were ready to play this week,” Pioneer head coach Tom Lee said. “They remember last year losing on a last-second field goal. They remember the year before losing 56-49. They remember Year 1 when we got beat 56-8. They wanted this game and our kids played hard. Hats off to Coach Adame and his staff. They played hard ‘til the very end.”
After the Pioneer offense was held to a season-low 35 points last week, junior quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger went off for 318 passing yards, 121 rushing yards, five passing touchdowns and two more scores on the ground.
“Sharyland’s a very good team. They’ve dominated us the past few years, but this team, we’re a magical team this year,” Marburger said. “We’re going to do something special this season.”
Marburger’s five touchdown passes were brought in by Luke Padilla and Lavar Lindo. Lindo made multiple circus catches for the Diamondbacks as the 6-feet-4-inch receiver finished the game with nine catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
After the game, Marburger gave credit to his receivers.
“Those guys are getting better every week. It’s like a dream come true throwing to them,” Marburger said. “I play for one reason only, that’s for my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.”
The Diamondbacks and Rattlers played to a 14-14 tie in the first quarter after a rushing touchdown by Benji Valdivia and a receiving score by Danny Peña. But the Rattlers weren’t able to keep up with Sharyland Pioneer’s fast-paced, high-powered aerial attack.
The Pioneer defense stepped up with two big fumble recoveries, and the D-Backs’ special teams came through with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by return-man Evan Maldonado.
The win sends Sharyland Pioneer to 6-1 on the year and 3-0 in District 16-5A DII. Next up for the district-leading D-Backs is a home game against Laredo Cigarroa at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We’re just taking this one week at a time and trying to get that district championship,” Marburger said.
Meanwhile, the loss drops Sharyland High to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in district play. The Rattlers will go on the road in Week 9 as they’re set to take on Mercedes at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Mercedes for a game with playoff implications.