PSJA High senior wide receiver Miguel Flores has gotten used to making big plays. Flores, who’s been a regular target in the Bears’ air-raid offense, has established himself as one of the best route runners and most sure-handed wideouts throughout the Valley and Texas high school football ranks.
He’s coming off a monster performance in a win over Mission High that yielded a season-high 17 receptions for a staggering 254 yards and all three of PSJA High’s passing touchdowns in the process.
The pivotal Week 10 matchup also pushed Flores over the 1,000-yard receiving mark this season, making him the first receiver in the Valley to do so this season. His recent hot streak has put him at 1,121 yards through the air on the season to along with 14 touchdown catches and 68 receptions.
Currently, Flores ranks sixth in receiving yards and seventh in receptions throughout Texas and third each at the 6A level, according to MaxPreps.com. His explosiveness in recent weeks has reignited the PSJA High offense at the perfect time and helped lead the team to big wins over McAllen Rowe and Mission.
The Bears (5-3, 5-1) will be looking to clinch a district championship when they take on La Joya Juarez Lincoln (2-6, 1-5) at 7 p.m. Thursday in Pharr.
VILLARREAL PUSHING LA JOYA TO PLAYOFFS
While the Bears have been putting up flashy numbers through the air in recent weeks, the Coyotes’ impassable offensive line and stable of capable running backs have been doing the same on the ground.
La Joya High’s ground-and-pound rushing attack has really found its footing in recent weeks. The Coyotes have posted more than 500 total yards twice in the last three weeks and have won two out of their last four contests after holding leads in each.
La Joya’s bounce-back part of the season coincided perfectly with the true emergence of running back Eddie Villarreal. The senior had some big games to start the season, but has really dialed up his level of play over the past month or so.
Villarreal has run for 1,136 yards on the ground in his last five games, which represents almost three-quarters of his yardage for the entire season. He’s been taking the lion’s share of the carries out of the backfield in the Coyotes’ option offense and tallied 12 touchdowns in the last five weeks too.
Villarreal is proving that the Coyotes will go as far as he can carry them, as he’s kept the team close in several recent shootouts. He ran for 332 yards and three rushing scores on 43 touches in a big Week 10 win over McAllen Rowe to keep the team’s playoff hopes alive.
La Joya (4-5, 2-4) will look to clinch a playoff berth with a win over Mission High (7-2, 5-1) when the two teams meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday in La Joya.
POTENTIAL 30-6A PLAYOFF SCENARIOS, SEEDINGS
With one week remaining in the regular season, many of the details surrounding the playoff picture for District 30-6A are still up in the air.
McAllen Memorial, Mission High and PSJA High sit locked in a three-way tie for first place with one district loss each. The Eagles topped the Mustangs in their district opener, the Mustangs escaped with a midseason win over the Bears and the Bears beat the Eagles in a Week 10 shootout.
All three teams have clinched playoff berths, but the seeding order remains a big question. If two out of those three teams lose in Week 11, the lone winner would be crowned district champion. While if two out three teams won, it would trigger a tiebreaker based on head-to-head results between the two teams.
Where it gets complicated is the likely scenario that McAllen Memorial beats McAllen Rowe, Mission defeats La Joya and PSJA High tops Juarez-Lincoln. If that were to happen, seeding would be determined by a point differential tiebreaker from the games played against one another.
Under that format, PSJA High (6) would be awarded the district title, McAllen Memorial (-1) would finish second and Mission (-5) would come in third. The other unknown variable in play is which team will lock up the fourth and final playoff spot: La Joya or McAllen Rowe?
The Coyotes edged the Warriors in a shootout last week, making the two teams 2-4 and 3-3 in district, respectively. La Joya has won two of its last four, while Rowe has lost three straight after starting undefeated.
If La Joya loses to Mission or Rowe beats McAllen Memorial, then the Warriors would clinch the fourth playoff spot. But if La Joya tops Mission and Rowe falls to Memorial, then the Coyotes would enter a tie for fourth and advance to the playoffs on a head-to-head tiebreaker.